Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges


Specific Policies Regarding Bullying, Hazing and Sexual Harassment Applicable to All Athletes, Parents, Officials and Sport Organization Staff

The adoption, implementation and enforcement of specific policies regarding bullying, hazing and sexual harassment applicable to all athletes, parents and sport organization staff is an essential "standard of care" obligation for all youth sport organizations.

Q: Once any coach, staff member, sport official or member of the board of directors of the sport club becomes aware of misconduct, how should the local open amateur sport organization respond?

A:  The sport organization response should be clearly defined by policy and include the following essential elements: (a) a mandate to immediately restore a safe sports environment that will stay in place until the conclusion of adjudication, (b) immediately reporting the incident to proper authorities as required by law, (c) clearly defining the supporting role of the trusted parent or other volunteer designated to assist and support the athlete and/or parents in reporting more powerful coaches or officials or other athletes and participating in the investigation and adjudication proc

Q: What are the characteristics of model policies and procedures governing the reporting of coach or participant misconduct in local open amateur sport clubs or organizations?

A:  Policies and procedures governing the reporting of coaching or participant misconduct should include (a) mandatory reporter responsibilities for all coaches, volunteers and staff members, (b) “whistle blower” protection from retaliation and (c) the provision of a trusted parent or other volunteer to assist the athlete and/or parents in reporting more powerful coaches or officials or other athletes because of fears of retaliation or hazing.

The Misuse of Annual Employee Performance Evaluation and Failure to Utilize Progressive Disciplinary Action

I have been involved as an expert witness in numerous employment cases.  In almost every case, a single negative annual employee performance evaluation, often involving invented facts, a minor NCAA rules violation portrayed as serious transgression and/or negative student evaluations are used to justify the termination of a strong employee who raised gender inequity issues.

The Personal Attributes of Leaders

The athletics director is the head coach of a team – a master teacher and leader who has the ability to organize and inspire a group of people to achieve common goals.  The athletics department team will vary in size with regard to numbers of employees, size of budget and age of student-athletes (middle school, high school and college programs).  The goals of the team will vary according to the competitive level of the program and its related definition of success.  However, every effective athletics director is a highly organized person who is committed to bringing the best

Operating Principles for Athletics Organizations

Operating principles reflect the athletics director’s beliefs about the ways in which people and organizations achieve excellence – the keys to personal and organizational success.  Many times, these principles are the product of a manager’s past experience in leading teams, groups or organizations but they are always consistent with the stated values of the current organization and its leadership.  The essence of an operating principle is that it is an expectation about how everyone in an organization is expected to relate to each other, treat external publics and approach everyd

Invest in Development Capacity Now - Four Key Steps

During a challenging economic climate is not the time for athletics departments to “pull back” on fundraising efforts because of fear that donors will not be able to give.  Now is the time to do just the opposite.  A bad economic climate gives athletics a new reason to fundraise – the prospect of having to eliminate sports or a reduction in the program’s ability to compete because of funding challenges.  While a large number of people may be reducing their spending, there are always key donors who have the ability to increase their gifts.  Investing in new fundraising st

Ten Tips for Relationship Building

A guest contribution from the President of Imagine Philanthropy...

Whether you are running your own nonprofit, building a sports program or starting a new business, here are my suggested “Top Ten Methods for Success”.  Please note that these are in no particular order although I personally value 1‐4 in people I work with! Success will come sooner when all are done well and consistently.

Q: Why is the "chain of command" so important?

Governance is the formal control of the operation of the athletics program through decision-making according to specified authorities.  The athletics director is only one decision-maker in a chain of school district or institutional decision-makers.  Decisions by these institutional or school district authorities are affected by external governmental and non-governmental decision-makers such as lawmakers (local, state and federal governments and their education agencies), accreditation agencies and athletics program governance organizations (conference, state, national).