Dixie State University athletes are expected to perform and act their best on the field or court; they’re expected to do and act the same outside of athletics and academia.
The DSU Intercollegiate Athletics 2017-2018 Handbook outlines the rules and responsibilities of being a student athlete. The code of conduct section of the handbook discusses topics such as team rules, alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, academic dishonesty and more.
Jason Boothe, executive director of athletics, said all athletes, whether they’re on scholarship or not, have to abide by the handbook and NCAA rules.
Jaclyn Kerouac, NCAA advisor and eligibility coordinator, said the code of conduct is in effect all year long, even when athletes are on summer break.
Boothe said DSU’s athlete handbook is considered to be more strict than other institutions, especially in the drug, alcohol and conduct policy section of the handbook.
If there is athlete, who is also a minor, in possession/consumption of alcohol on a police report, the first offense involves the athlete attending a drug and alcohol program for 16 hours; being suspended for two regular season contests or 10 percent of contests, whichever is less; and being permitted to practice. But on the second offense, the athlete would be terminated from the team and lose his or her scholarship.
“This policy is just to make sure we’re having a good, clean program,” Boothe said. “Every year we have violations to this, and we hold to it. There’s always appeals, but [athletes] better have a good reason.”
Boothe said disciplinary action for these rules being broken depends on the situation, and situations involving drugs and alcohol is looked at by a case-by-case basis.
“If you’re arrested for selling cocaine, one (strike) goodbye,” he said. “As with alcohol, it’s like ‘go to this counseling and figure it out.’”
Disciplinary action also depends on if the situation was reported by a reliable source, Boothe said. He said if a friend or another student reports an athlete abusing alcohol or drugs, there’s more investigation, whereas if the incident is reported by a reliable adult source such as the police, then the athletic department takes the police’s word.
“There is no arguing if you were arrested and were on a police report,” Boothe said.
Although social media portrayal is briefly mentioned in the handbook, coaches and the athletic department also discuss how athletes should conduct themselves on social media at the beginning of the season.
Basketball head coach Jon Judkins said as soon as his coaching team sees something on social media that shouldn’t be up, they address it with the player and the post is taken down.
“I think we only had one (instance); it wasn’t bad,” he said. “It was more of why (a player) wasn’t playing, and he was complaining (on social media) about why he wasn’t playing.”
Judkins said he treats his players as they’re his own kids.
“We talk about being a family where if somebody is doing something they shouldn’t be doing, we’ll take them away and get them out of that situations,” Judkins said.
If an athlete does violate a rule and disciplinary action is taken place, he or she can choose to appeal. Boothe said he handles appeals.
To learn more about how athletes should conduct themselves outside of athletics and academia, visit dixiestateathletics.com.