Villanova student-athletes are expected to promote sportsmanship behavior and to foster good character by:
- maintaining control during emotionally charged situations, including assisting a teammate who appears to be losing control;
- communicating with officials and opponents on routine matters during athletic events;
- reacting in a positive manner to an aggressive action by an individual or a group.
Coaches should define actions which constitute inappropriate conduct and suggest ways to avoid such behavior. Unacceptable behavior on the playing field includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Physical abuse (i.e. throwing objects) of officials, coaches, opponents or spectators;
- Unauthorized seizure of equipment from officials or the news media;
- Inciting players or spectators to negative actions or to any behavior which insults or defiles an opponent's tradition;
- Use of obscene or inappropriate language and/or gestures;
- Making public statements which are negative, controversial or outside the Department's media policy.
Updated Code of Sportsmanship As Approved by the Athletic Directors, May 2012
It is the responsibility of each member institution in the BIG EAST Conference to ensure that all individuals associated with its athletic program will conduct themselves with sportsmanship.
Every reasonable effort will be made by member institutions to emphasize the importance of good sportsmanship at all athletic events.
Crowd control responsibilities during BIG EAST athletic events rest with the home event management staff designated by the member institution's Director of Athletics. Policies established by The BIG EAST Conference are reviewed annually by the Directors of Athletics and printed in a handbook effective for the sports season. The BIG EAST Senior Woman Administrators have been charged with establishing and overseeing sportsmanship practices by serving as the point persons and advocates regarding sportsmanship initiatives.
Student-Athletes, individuals employed by or associated with a member institution, and game officials shall conduct themselves with honesty and good sportsmanship. Their actions shall at all times reflect the high standards of honor and dignity that characterize participation in competitive sports in the collegiate setting.
Misconduct, including verbal misconduct, is any act of dishonesty, unsportsmanlike conduct, unprofessional behavior, failure by any representative of a participating institution to abide by the BIG EAST Sportsmanship principles and/or poor sportsmanship not necessarily described in detail in this document.
The Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member will proceed with disciplinary action if and when he deems it appropriate. The Commissioner may elect to work in concert with the Conference's Executive Sportsmanship Committee, as defined hereafter in this document, in these matters.
Coaches and administrators shall make every attempt to promote the Conference and its members in a positive manner. Game officials, who are responsible for enforcing both the rules of a contest as well as sportsmanship and decorum rules, have the complete support of the Conference member institutions, the Commissioner and Conference office staff.
The following BIG EAST Sportsmanship principles apply from the time any representative is en route to, from or at the locale of the competition or practice. Additionally, actions outside this time frame may be subject to the Conference Code of Sportsmanship. This policy includes any competition in which our member institutions are competing. Individuals that must adhere to the principles include, but are not limited to, coaching staff members, support personnel, student-athletes, Conference office staff members, representatives of a member institution's department of athletics, band members, cheerleaders and institutional mascot:
- Individuals shall exhibit respect and courtesy toward game officials, student-athletes, coaches, team personnel, athletic administrators, Conference office staff members and spectators. Individuals shall refrain from personal conduct that may incite spectators.
- Individuals shall refrain from all public criticism, inclusive of all forms of communication, relative to game officials, student-athletes, coaches, team personnel, athletic administrators, Conference office staff members or spectators.
- Only Conference office staff members (e.g., Commissioner, Coordinator of Officials) are permitted to enter the locker room of a game official to discuss game activities. A coach or student-athlete should never enter a game official's locker room.
- Public communication regarding a code of sportsmanship violation may be subject to sanctions. Violations of the rules listed above, and/or poor sportsmanship not necessarily described in detail above, may subject the individual to public reprimand and/or suspension from participation by the member institution and/or the Conference. Penalties are determined on a case-by-case basis. Should a violation of one of the principles occur, the following process is to be executed:
1) Initiation of Potential Violation
- Once a member institution is aware that a potential violation has taken place, the respective Director of Athletics or designee must contact the Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member immediately.
- Once the Conference office is aware that a potential violation has taken place, the Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member must contact the involved institution(s) within 24 hours.
2) Commissioner's Findings and Report
- The Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member will conduct a formal review to determine if a violation has in fact occurred.
- At the conclusion of the formal review, the Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member will issue a report confirming whether a violation took place. This report will be provided to the Director(s) of Athletics and/or designees of the institution(s) involved within three (3) business days of the incident occurring.
- This report will include the Commissioner's and/or designated Conference office staff member's findings and penalties, if any, to be imposed. The Commissioner reserves the right to adopt and acknowledge the institution's recommended sanctions. The Commissioner may also reconsider new information if presented in a timely manner.
3) Acceptance or Objection to Commissioner's Report
- The Director(s) of Athletics and/or designee of the involved institution(s) shall submit a written response to the Commissioner indicating a formal acceptance or objection to the matter. In the event either of the involved institutions believes the Commissioner's finding and/or penalty is inappropriate, insufficient or excessive in nature, an appeal may be initiated by that Director of Athletics and/or designee.
- The intent to appeal must be filed in writing to the Commissioner within 24 hours of receiving the Commissioner's report.
4) Appeal Process
- Overview and Preparation for Appeal
- The Executive Sportsmanship Committee
- Shall hear and consider the appeal and shall do so as expeditiously as possible. Any individual on the Committee that is representing one of the involved institutions must be recused.
- Decision of the Committee shall be final
- The Director of Athletics and/or designee
- Must participate in the hearing
- Must submit a written statement outlining the reasons for the appeal to the Executive Sportsmanship Committee at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.
- Must provide Opening Statement at Hearing (Closing Statement is optional)
- Commissioner and/or Designated Conference Office Staff Member
- Will provide the report, along with other relevant material (e.g., video, media reports, statements by witnesses, etc.) for the Committee's consideration.
- Must provide Opening Statement at Hearing (Closing Statement is optional)
- Appeal Hearing via Teleconference
- Meeting called to order by Chair of Committee
- Opening Statement by Director of Athletics who submitted the appeal
- Opening Statement by Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member
- Hearing open for discussion among all individuals participating
- Closing Statements may be made by Director of Athletics and/or Commissioner
- Chair will excuse the institution's representatives and the Committee will then deliberate and make a determination to uphold, modify, or reject the Commissioner's decision.
- The Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member will notify the Director of Athletics who submitted the appeal.
- The decision of the Executive Sportsmanship Committee shall be final.
- Once the process has concluded, the Commissioner and/or designated Conference office staff member will provide the outcome to all Conference member institutions Directors of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrators.
- There will be situations (e.g., suspensions) where the penalty and/or appeal may not be processed prior to the institution's next competition. If that occurs, the penalty would be assessed during the first competition after the matter has been resolved.
- If a penalty or suspension is imposed at or near the end of a season of competition, the penalty may be carried over into the next season of competition.
- The Executive Sportsmanship Committee is comprised of the AD Executive Committee and two (2) additional Senior Woman Administrators. These two Senior Woman Administrators will serve two-year terms. A minimum of three (3) Committee members must participate in an appeal [Two (2) Directors of Athletics and One (1) Senior Woman Administrator]. Committee members must participate in the appeal hearing via teleconference. There will be no proxy votes.
The institution with a suspended student-athlete, coach, band member, cheerleader or mascot bears all responsibility for making sure the involved individual(s) adhere to the parameters of the suspension.
- Suspension-Student-Athlete: On the days a student-athlete is suspended from a competition, he/she shall not participate and shall not be present in the playing venue from the time the team reports on call for the competition through the time the team is officially released from the competition.
- Suspension-Coach: A coach cannot be present in the involved playing venue while he/she is serving the suspension from the time the team is required to report on call for the competition until the team has departed the playing venue. On the day(s) a coach is suspended from a competition, he/she may not have contact or communication with the institution's team and institution's personnel and coaches during the time as defined above.
- Suspension-Band Member, Cheerleader, Mascot: On the days a band member, cheerleader or mascot is suspended from a competition, he/she shall not participate and shall not be present in the playing venue during the competition and any activities (prior to or after) associated with the competition.