Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges


Model Policy: Supplements, Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Drugs

Athletic departments often impose strict policies regarding the use of recreational or performance enhancing drugs by student-athletes and often have extensive drug testing programs designed to detect and prevent such use.  However, many departments do not have policies in place that address the issuance of vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter drugs by coaches, trainers or other department employees.  These policies are particularly important given the fact that vitamins and other supplements are a relatively unregulated industry in the United States.  Occasionally, som

Q: Is there a racial component to the issue of special admission of athletically talented students?

A:  YES.  There is a serious racial component to the issue of academic exploitation of Division I football and basketball players in particular.   The research data regarding the black male football and basketball players in Division I are very clear.  The following data covering 2007 to 2010 (Harper, Williams and Blackman, 2013) revealed:

Q: What is needed to fix the NCAA enforcement system?

NCAA penalties often cause serious damage to the reputation of institutions of higher education, coach and athletic administrator loss of employment, and may cause loss of participation and scholarship benefits to college athletes.  Strong processes need to be put in place commensurate with these risks.   The NCAA’s current “cooperative principle,” which requires member institutions to self-report Association rules violations,’ investigate themselves, and assist the NCAA in its own investigation or face enhanced penalties for not cooperating or taking appropriate corrective a

Q: What policies and practices would reduce the possibility of academic fraud?

In response to the recent athletics academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina, The Drake Group issued the following position paper.  The Drake Group is a national organization of faculty and others whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.  Drake Group goals include: (1) ensure that universities provide accountability of trustees, administrators, and faculty by publicly disclosing information about the quality of educations college athletes receive; (2) advance proposals that ensu

Fair Investigation and Decision-Making: External Misconduct

When implementing a sanction, the sport manager has every incentive to get the decision right the first time; the stakes are high with regard to the manager’s and the organization’s reputation for fair judgment.  The consequences for misjudging or failing to have explicit policies can be severe.  For example NFL player Ray Rice assaulted his fiancé which was captured by an elevator videotape.  The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, originally suspended the player for two games and then subsequently suspended the player indefinitely for violating the NFL’s personal conduct polic

External Misconduct: Specific Policy Recommendations

Our administrative responsibilities are multiple:  (1) to identify reputation and business risk, (2) to develop policies and procedures that reduce or eliminate such risk, (3) to educate all employees on how to avoid such risks and the penalties that may be incurred if policies and procedures are violated, (4) to fairly evaluate when employees have violated policies and procedures (using the preponderance of evidence standard), and (5) to impose appropriate penalties for such violations.  It is important for such policies to be specific with regard to the delineation of both prohi

Administrative Authority and Perspective: External Misconduct of Employees

We now reside in a world in which public access to video and photos of misconduct is unprecedented whether by employees, athletes or the police.  Social media and ever-expanding electronic communication capabilities permit widespread dissemination of these materials within minutes.    From elevator cameras to smart phone video, from computer hacking to sharing intimate photos, citizen conduct has never been more exposed.  This environment has created incredible pressure on administrators, especially those involved in high public interest activities such as collegiat

Q: What is the obligation of a job candidate to disclose sensitive background information?

A:  In the highly sensitive media environment of collegiate athletics programs, we must re-examine our beliefs about the obligations of job candidates to disclose personal and professional information that has a direct relationship to integrity issues.    Media and institutional reputation risks are simply too high to do otherwise. Whether queried by a third party search firm, the athletic director, members of a search committee or even the president of the university, the candidate should be prepared to disclose the following information: