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Revised Ohio University student-athlete conduct policies unveiled
Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy will hold all athletes to rigorous standards

ATHENS, Ohio (Dec. 1, 2006) -- Ohio University Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt today unveiled the revised Student-Athlete Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy at the university's Board of Trustees meeting in Columbus, Ohio. 

The updated policy outlines violation levels, sanctions and enforcement procedures that will apply uniformly to all student athletes.

Hocutt told the board that before drafting the revised policies, he involved coaches in every sport as well as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and policy-makers in student affairs, judiciaries and the provost's office. Hocutt also researched best practices nationwide. 

"This policy brings clarity and consistency to our 531 athletes," Hocutt said. 

The Student-Athlete Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy makes clear that all student athletes must adhere to the new standards or face immediate sanctions.

Standardization of the policy that governs student athletes was front and center, Hocutt said. 

The policy states:

  • Level 1 violations are citations on campus such as minor noise or trash violations. Sanction: verbal reprimand by the athlete's head coach.
  • Level 2 violations include on-campus substance abuse violations that do not result in an arrest. Sanctions: A written reprimand and depending upon the severity of the offense, a suspension from at least 5 percent of competitions. A repeat violation will result in a minimum suspension from 10 percent of competitions. Penalties for these violations will be enforced immediately.
  • Level 3 violations include lower-level misdemeanors (such as alcohol/drug violations that result in an arrest). Sanctions: Athlete suspended immediately until the director of athletics and head coach review the incident. The athlete will not be allowed to participate in any athletics activities during the review. The athlete could also face a suspension from 10 to 25 percent of the team's athletic contests, must complete a university-approved counseling and evaluation session, will have to alert his/her parents of the violation in front of the coach via telephone and will be placed on probation for one calendar year.
  • Level 4 violations include all serious misdemeanors (driving under the influence, drug possession, theft, sexual misconduct). Sanctions: Many of the level 3 sanctions, plus suspension from 50 percent of the team's competitions and permanent probation. A repeat violation within one year of the first violation could result in dismissal from the team and loss of athletics aid.
  • Level 5 violations, which are the most serious offenses, include all felonies. Sanctions: A charge results in immediate suspension from all athletic activities. A conviction results in dismissal from the team and loss of athletics aid.

The revised policy reminds student athletes that they also are subject to the university's sanctions for violations of the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy. The university recently implemented new strategies to reduce high-risk drinking. As part of those strategies, the university changed its discipline system to be more consistent and respond more specifically to repeat alcohol violations.

"I think this is going to be a model policy," board member Marnette Perry said. "Many schools will wish they had the clarity this policy brings. It will make our athletes proud, it will make them clear on what the standards are, and it emphasizes that participation is a privilege."   

"Our student athletes and coaches support this policy," Hocutt said.

President Roderick J. McDavis will approve a final version of the policy soon and it will be implemented for the start of winter quarter on Jan. 3.   

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, 740- 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu, or Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt, 740-593-0982 or hocutt@ohio.edu

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