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University of Maryland, College Park Policy on Conduct and Ethics for Student-Athletes

Consolidated USM and UMD Policies and Procedures



A.   Policy
       The University of Maryland College Park has established a
       tradition of ethical conduct at all levels of University
       life.  In accordance with this tradition, all student-
       athletes involved in the intercollegiate athletics program
       are expected to represent the University in an honorable
       manner at all times.
  B.   Governing Authorities
       Standards of ethical conduct are established and enforced
       1.   Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
            Rules for student-athletes are established by each
            individual sport's Head Coach and his/her staff, within
            parameters set by the Director of Athletics, the
            Athletic Council and the University.  The Head Coach
            informs team members of established team and training
            rules at the beginning of the academic year.
            In addition to specific rules and regulations for
            individual sports, general conduct policies are set
            forth below.
       2.   The University of Maryland College Park
            All student-athletes are subject to the Code of Student
            Conduct, as outlined in The University of Maryland
            College Park Undergraduate Catalog. The Judicial
            Programs Office is responsible for administering the
            Code.  Depending on the severity of an offense,
            students accused of misconduct are entitled to either
            an informal disciplinary conference or a judicial board
            hearing.  Final authority in disciplinary matters is
            vested with University administration and in the Board
            of Regents.  All student disciplinary records are
            maintained by the Judicial Programs Office.
       3.   The Atlantic Coast Conference
            The University is responsible for ensuring that all
            individuals associated with the intercollegiate
            athletics program conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike
            Unsportsmanlike behavior is not tolerated and is
            subject to individual disciplinary action.  Failure to
            enforce this ACC policy may result in disciplinary
            action against the University.  A detailed account of
            the Conference policy is contained in the Atlantic
            Coast Conference manual.
       4.   National Collegiate Athletic Association
            Student-athletes are subject to the rules and
            regulations of the NCAA governing unsportsmanlike
            behavior, non-therapeutic drug use, gambling and
            bribery, and the acceptance of impermissible awards,
            benefits and expenses, as well as other forms of
  C.   Personal Conduct and Responsibilities
       The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics makes every
       effort to offer a program that assists each student-athlete
       in securing a degree and fulfilling the objectives of the
       University.  The acceptance of athletic financial aid and
       participation as a member of an athletic team carries with
       it definite academic and athletic responsibilities for the
       student-athlete.  They are as follows:
       1.   Academic
            a.   Attend classes regularly and complete all academic
            b.   consult with academic counselors and attend
                 tutoring sessions, supervised study sessions or
                 other academic responsibilities and programs as
            c.   maintain an academic course load of at least
                 twelve (12) hours per semester and make progress
                 toward a degree;
            d.   accept responsibility for maintaining academic
                 eligibility; and
            e.   strive to obtain a college degree within four (4)
       2.   Athletic
            a.   Abide by all University, ACC and NCAA team rules;
            b.   maintain oneself in top physical condition, within
                 accepted health standards;
            c.   attend all organized practices unless officially
            d.   take care of equipment and return it in good
            e.   treat officials and opponents with respect, and
                 avoid undue confrontations (see "Sportsmanlike
                 Conduct" below);
            f.   maintain proper standards of grooming and dress;
            g.   abstain from using tobacco, alcohol and non-
                 therapeutic drugs.
       Student-athletes are encouraged to obtain clarification of
       any Departmental, University, ACC or NCAA rules and
       regulations which are not understood from a member of the
       coaching staff or the Assistant Director for Academic
       Support and Compliance.
  D.   Sportsmanlike Conduct
       Sportsmanlike conduct means more than the absence of
       negative actions in public.  The Director of Athletics, as
       well as each individual Head Coach, is responsible for
       providing conduct instruction to student-athletes by
       disseminating information on techniques which approach in a
       positive manner the following situations when on the playing
       1.   communicating with officials and opponents on routine
            matters during athletic events;
       2.   maintaining control during emotionally charged
            situations, including assisting a teammate or colleague
            who appears to be losing control; and
       3.   reacting in a positive manner to an aggressive action
            by an individual or group.
       Coaches are to define actions which constitute inappropriate
       conduct, and suggest ways to avoid such behavior.
       Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, the
       1.   any arrest for unlawful conduct;
       2.   physical abuse of officials, coaches, opponents or
       3.   throwing of objects;
       4.   unauthorized seizure of equipment from officials or the
            news media;
       5.   inciting players or spectators to negative actions or
            to any behavior which insults or defiles an opponent's
       6.   use of obscene or otherwise inappropriate language or
       7.   making public statements which are negative,
            controversial or outside the Department's media policy;
       8.   participating in any action which violates the
            generally recognized ethical standards of
            intercollegiate athletics, the University or the
  E.   Gambling and Bribery
       The NCAA has established specific guidelines concerning
       involvement in gambling and bribery at the intercollegiate
       sports level.  In order to educate the student-athlete
       regarding illegal organized gambling, the University and the
       Department have developed and implemented a comprehensive
       educational program which instructs the student-athlete on
       the nature and prevalence of intercollegiate gambling and
       bribery, as well as the risks involved for the individual
       and for the entire University.
       In addition to awareness of the gambling and bribery threat
       to the integrity of intercollegiate sports, student-athletes
       are responsible for the following:
       1.   reporting any offers of gifts, money or favors in
            exchange for supplying team information or for
            attempting to alter the outcome of any contest;
       2.   Maintaining a clear understanding of what constitutes
            gambling and bribery activities and reporting any such
       3.   contacting the coach or other Departmental personnel
            (i.e. Sports Information Office staff) when questions
            concerning appropriate release of team information
            occur; and
       4.   increasing one's awareness that participation in
            gambling or bribery activities can result in
            disciplinary actions by the University and the NCAA
            (see "Enforcement" below), as well as local, state
            and/or federal prosecution.
  F.   Agents
       It is essential that student-athletes know the NCAA rules
       related to professional sports.  An infraction of the rules
       concerning agents could have severe negative consequences
       for the University and the student-athlete.  NCAA rules
       pertaining to sport agents and professional sports
       counseling panels:
       1.   FORBID an athlete to agree, either orally or in
            writing, to be represented by an agent or organization
            in the marketing of his or her athletic ability or
            reputation until after the completion of the last
            intercollegiate contest, including post-season games.
            This NCAA prohibition includes an agreement that is not
            effective until after the last game.
       2.   FORBID an athlete or his or her representative to enter
            into a playing contract either orally or in writing,
            regardless of the legal enforceability of that
            agreement, in that sport in which the athlete intends
            to compete intercollegiately.
       3.   FORBID an athlete or his or her representative to
            accept remuneration for or permit the use of his or her
            name or picture to advertise, recommend, promote or
            endorse the sale or use of a commercial or service of
            any kind.
       4.   FORBID an athlete to ask to be placed on a professional
            league's draft list, whether or not the athlete
            withdraws his or her name before the draft, whether or
            not the athlete is actually drafted, and whether or not
            the athlete signs a professional contract.
       5.   FORBID an athlete to accept expenses or gifts of any
            kind (including meals and transportation) from an agent
            (or anyone else) who wishes to provide services to the
            student-athlete.  Such payment is not allowed because
            it would be compensation based on athletic skills and a
            preferential benefit not available to other students.
       6.   FORBID an athlete to receive preferential benefits or
            treatments (for example, loans with deferred pay-back
            basis) because of the athlete's reputation, skill, or
            potential as a professional athlete.
       7.   FORBID an athlete to retain professional services for
            personal reasons at less than the normal charge from a
            representative of his school's athletic interest.
       Neither Maryland law nor the NCAA rules prohibit a student-
       athlete from contacting an agent for informational purposes.
       However, since all agents must be licensed by the State, the
       Athletic Department believes that it is in the student-
       athlete's best interests for him/her to confer with the
       Associate Athletic Director for Compliance about the license
       status of a prospective agent or other third party.
       Moreover, agents or other third parties may not contact
       student-athletes without first having received permission to
       do so from the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
       If a student-athlete does not inform the Associate Athletic
       Director for Compliance that he/she has been contacted in
       person or by phone by an agent or other third party without
       Athletic Department permission for such contact, the student
       will receive a written warning that a second contact may
       result in possible sanctions.  A second violation will be
       grounds for sanction to be determined by the Director of
       Athletics.  The sanction may include denial of future
       eligibility for competition at the University of Maryland.
       A student-athlete who signs a contract to be represented by
       an agent in the marketing of the individual's athletic
       ability is no longer eligible to compete in intercollegiate
       athletics in that sport.  The Associate Athletic Director
       for Compliance shall immediately declare the student-athlete
       ineligible for further competition and fully disclose the
       infraction to appropriate authorities.
  G.   Enforcement
       Violations of University policy regarding academics,
       residence life and general conduct are handled in the same
       manner as for the general student body.  Each Head Coach is
       responsible for enforcing team rules.  All other student-
       athlete conduct violations are reported to the Departmental
       administrator responsible for management of the designated
       sport, the Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Support
       and Compliance, the Director of Athletics and the Faculty
       Athletic Representative, as appropriate.
       Additionally, all NCAA rule violations are also reported to
       the President of the University of Maryland College Park.
       Reports are then filed with the Atlantic Coast Conference
       and the NCAA offices according to established reporting
       If a student-athlete is found to be in violation of
       University, ACC or NCAA policy, the penalty imposed depends
       upon the severity of the offense and may include the
            dismissal from the squad;
            cancellation or gradation of the grant-in-aid; and/or
            dismissal from the University.