Book governs conduct of UH-Manoa athletes
Most recently with the University of Hawaii Wahine basketball team and previously with other teams, including the men's basketball team, coaches have taken action against players for what has been called "violation of team rules" or something to that effect. Exactly which rules the players broke is not of great interest to me, but what are the rules players are supposed to abide by? Is there a book of rules that players are handed at some point and they are required to sign off on, or is it something you are supposed to know? Is there some standard set of rules for all teams or do coaches of each sport get to make up their own? I know that when I was in high school and college (not UH), I was never given a book of rules.
Answer: UH-Manoa athletes are given a general Student-Athlete Handbook, which includes a Code of Conduct they are expected to follow.
Additionally, the coaches of each team can set their own rules, covering such matters as conduct, curfew and even dress code.
It is mostly up to the coaches to decide what action to take if team rules are broken, said Lois Manin, spokeswoman for the UH Athletics Department.
However, if it becomes a violation of the Student-Athlete Handbook, then the administration would get involved as to what the penalties would be, she said.
You can find the Student-Athlete Handbook posted on the UH Web site, uhathletics.hawaii.edu/sa_handbook_2005.pdf.
It might surprise you to learn that there is also a UH-Manoa Student Conduct Code, covering all students and separate from the Code of Conduct for athletes. Copies of the general Student Conduct Code also can be found online -- www.manoa.hawaii.edu/students/conduct/.
Student-athletes are warned that in addition to all federal, state and local laws, they are expected to conform to UH regulations. "Moreover, students penalized for violating public laws are not exempt from further prosecution by University authorities if their actions also violate University rules," according to the Student-Athlete Handbook.
Apart from specific team rules, UH-Manoa student-athletes must follow these general rules, which we have edited down:
1. Always present a positive image in competition as well as in daily life.
2. Be on time for every commitment.
3. Be prepared to give 100 percent, both as an athlete and as a student.
4. Do not consume alcoholic beverages on team trips, at athletic events, or at events sponsored by the department.
5. Do not use tobacco products of any kind while participating in practice or competition or while representing the UH in any capacity.
6. Do not use non-therapeutic drugs at any time, or illegally use any banned substances.
The Code of Conduct also has a special section dealing with gambling and bribery, warning that involvement in either one "will result in severe penalties."
Athletes are advised to immediately report any attempt by someone to get information regarding situations that might alter a team's performance; to reject any free meals, gifts, etc., from strangers; to be aware of gambling laws; to reject any money or gifts from a "fan" for a well-played game; and not to discuss the condition or attitude of their team with anyone other than teammates or coaches.
The Code of Conduct notes that because the university is "the only NCAA Division I program in the state, we receive more than our share of public and media attention. This interest is obviously of tremendous benefit to the University, the (Athletics) Department and to you. However, it also places upon all persons connected with the program a continuing responsibility to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner."
It goes on to say that student-athletes "are expected to behave both on and off campus in a manner which brings credit to the University and your team. Be aware of the image you are creating."
The Code of Conduct applies not only during the academic year, but during breaks and summer vacations, and applies to conduct on and off campus.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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