Last semester the Senior Staff at Elizabethtown College met with Athletic Director Nancy Latimore to discuss the Blue Jay Athletic Code of Conduct. Together, they created a new policy.
Latimore stated, “There was a concern of the number about athletes who violated the college’s policies, specifically, the alcohol policy.” Latimore and the Senior Staff acknowledged that the current Blue Jay Athletic Code of Conduct needed an update. “[The new code] would supplement the college policy and actions of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities based off the Student Handbook,” Latimore said, adding that the Code of Conduct was created separately from the new college-wide alcohol policy.
Latimore, with the support of the assistant athletic directors, brought a first draft of the new code to the athletic coaches. They researched the athletic codes of conducts from other colleges and universities in the area to find the policies that would best suit Etown. Unfortunately, there were a few concerns about the coaches’ ability to support athletes who violate the code as it was described in the first draft; therefore, a second draft was created with the coaches’ recommendations. Latimore recalled that “the new draft added the educational aspect,” as student-athletes are now required to meet with the head coach of their sport and/or the director of athletics after a violation. The new educational side to the code would be in direct support of the Athletic Department’s mission statement as, “The mission of the Blue Jay intercollegiate athletics program is to provide Elizabethtown College students with varsity sport programs that support and enhance the students’ educational experience and develop important life skills.”
The second draft was passed by the coaches and brought in front of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC president and senior volleyball player Meg Kenneweg described SAAC as, “A committee made up of student-athletes brought together to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations, and policies that affect student-athletes.”After the draft passed through SAAC, it was sent to the Student Affairs Committee. Following all the reviews and revisions, the new code entered into its current state for a trial period through the 2012-2013 school year.
According to Latimore, the new code of conduct will make all sanctions more consistent with a higher level of fairness for all athletes by working on a case-by-case and sport-by-sport basis. “Violations run the full spectrum from serious violations to minor infractions,” Latimore said. “We are looking to raise the bar for student athletes.” Again with direct support, the mission statement stated, “In our pursuit of excellence, we place the highest value on the principles of integrity, student-athlete welfare, sport and gender equity, sportsmanship and fair play.”
The new code distinguishes between two levels of violation. Level One Offenses consist of the more serious violations including, but not limited to, hazing incidents, a DUI arrest, possession and/or sale of an illegal substance to limit confusion and a violent act against another person/ sexual assault. Level One Offenses could lead to suspension from participation in the sport for the remainder of the season or the remainder of the individual’s college career. Level Two Offenses include, but are not limited to, underage drinking, public drunkenness and use of tobacco during practice or competition. After the first offense, a meeting with the head coach and/or athletic director is required and there is a possibility of suspension from competition. The second offense sanctions are similar to the first but the suspension is required. The third offense, again, leads to a meeting with the head coach and/or athletic director and suspension from competition, but also results in removal from all athletic leadership positions such as team captain, the Student Athlete Mentor program and SAAC representative. Under the new code, coaches are still allowed to be more restrictive.