Student-Athlete Policies and Conduct
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
Student athletes are subject to NCAA rules and regulations governing unsportsmanlike behavior, substance abuse, gambling and bribery, and the acceptance of non-permissible awards, benefits and expenses, as well as other forms of misconduct. All such rules and regulations are found in the NCAA Manual.
The University of Massachusetts
Student athletes are subject to the provisions of the Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities. As University students, the policies in the Handbook apply to student athletes in the same manner as any student at UMass. Disciplinary action in the event of allegations of academic dishonesty, dorm infractions, illegal activity, or any other form of inappropriate behavior on campus will be treated under the University guidelines for such violations of institutional policy. Athletic Department actions may be applied in addition to the University’s policies if such action is warranted. Department actions may include, but are not limited to:
1) official reprimand; 2) suspension from practice and/or competition; 3) suspension for a semester; and/or 4) forfeit of scholarship. Department punitive action is per the review of the head coach and the supervising Associate Athletic Director, and with the final authority of the Athletic Director.
Personal Conduct and Responsibilities
The Athletic Director makes every effort to offer a program that assists each student athlete in securing a degree and fulfilling the University’s objectives as stated in the Mission Statement. The acceptance of athletic financial aid and participation as a member of an athletic team includes academic and athletic responsibilities for the student athlete. Continued participation in UMass Athletic Programs is conditional upon meeting the following criteria. Failure to meet the criteria is grounds for: 1) official reprimand; 2) suspension from practice and/or competition; 3) suspension for a semester; and/or 4) forfeit of scholarship.
Sportsmanlike conduct is an essential element of the University’s image during competition between intercollegiate athletic teams. As highly visible representatives of the University, student athletes, like the coaching staffs, are expected to portray the mission and values of the Institution. Unsportsmanlike conduct will never be tolerated at UMass in any form. The specific rules and regulations governing sportsmanlike conduct are documented in both the NCAA and affiliated conferences’ rule books. Coaches are to provide student athletes with instruction on appropriate conduct and to make all participants in the program aware of the rules regarding unsportsmanlike behavior.
Gambling and Bribery
The NCAA has established specific guidelines concerning involvement in gambling and bribery. The NCAA clearly states that a student athlete is not eligible to compete if they: 1) knowingly provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics competition; 2) solicit a bet on any intercollegiate team; and/or 3) accept a bet on any team representing the institution or participate in any gambling activity that involves intercollegiate athletics through a bookmaker, a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling. The NCAA further states that a student athlete will not be eligible to compete if they have shown dishonesty in evading or violating NCAA regulations.
Student Athletes must report any offers of gifts, money or favors in exchange for supplying team information or for attempting to alter the outcome of any contest to the Head Coach and the Compliance Office. Failing to report illegal contact regarding gambling activities is grounds for: 1) official reprimand; 2) suspension from practice and/or competition; 3) suspension for a semester; and/or 4) forfeit of scholarship.
The University of Massachusetts stands for fair and ethical practices in all aspects of higher education and will not tolerate any infractions of NCAA or affiliated conferences’ recruiting rules by its alumni or staff. All alumni activity in recruiting will be monitored by the head coach and the Compliance Office. Head coaches are ultimately accountable for the recruiting activities of alumni associated with their program.
NCAA bylaws governing recruiting activities have been amended to greatly limit the role of alumni in recruiting activities, as follows:
“All in person, on-and off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospective student athlete
or the prospect’s relatives or legal guardians shall be made by institutional staff members.
Such contact, as well as correspondence and telephone calls, by representatives of an
institution’s athletics interests is prohibited…”
This ruling was instituted in order to reduce recruiting violations attributed to alumni and boosters of institutions around the nation. Recruiting activities that are prohibited by “representatives of athletic interests” are defined in detail in the NCAA Manual. Prohibited alumni recruiting activities do not include activities, which relate to normal admissions procedures applicable to all prospective students, provided personal contact is not made for the purpose of athletic recruiting.
The expectations of all students at the University of Massachusetts as well as sanctions for all violations of the Code of Student Conduct can be found at: