Athletic Policy Manual
Several principles guide this program. They are based on the values and beliefs that the institution, coaching staff, and players use to guide our behavior. It is important that all team members understand and adhere to the values and principles that our program stands for.
These values can easily be remembered by the acronym PRIDE. By adhering to the team values and guiding principles we will all have PRIDE in ourselves, our program, and Thomas University.
All athletes face hills and valleys, both good times and bad. Men that achieve greatness are those that persist, the ones that have a “never say die” attitude and will not quit. Your character will be revealed when you are presented with adverse circumstances. Carry with you an undying will to be successful and you will persist.
Treat others as you would expect to be treated. Treat your teammates, coaches, support staff, fellow students, professors, TU employees, and members of the Thomasville Community with respect. Respect other people’s possessions, thoughts and feelings.
Integrity means doing what you say you are going to do. Integrity also demands honesty, loyalty, and doing the right thing. When a person has integrity, his actions are congruent with his words and the image that he portrays. Most of all, integrity is tested when no one is watching. Be a man of integrity.
Discipline is the single most important attribute of a successful person, and a successful team. Discipline entails doing what you are supposed to do especially when you don’t want to do it. Discipline is also making sacrifices and delaying personal gratification. Most importantly, discipline is self- control.
Your effort is one of the few things that you can control, and all that anyone can ask of you is that you try your best. Put forth your best effort in meetings, on the practice field, and on the game field. It is not an unreasonable expectation that you try your best.
Sportsmanship is the ability to accept graciously, winning and losing. It is the ability to know that life is made up of both successes and failures and to know that we must be able to deal with both.
Sportsmanship is that attitude which projects the opponent as an equal not as an enemy. Your rival is worthy of your respect and admiration.
Sportsmanship is the ability to recognize the talents and abilities of others, even when it means accepting the fact that someone else is more proficient than we are.
Sportsmanship is the courage it takes to play the game within the rules. It is the ability to accept the decision of the officials and the coach without demonstrating inappropriate behavior.
Sportsmanship allows the individual to be able to offer his hand in victory in order to console the opponent and to offer his hand in defeat in order to congratulate the opponent.
Take your responsibility to be a good sport in a very serious manner.
10 COMMANDMENTS OF SPORTSMANSHIP
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Enjoy yourself and promote enjoyment for others.
Be responsible for your actions.
Have an open mind to others weaknesses and have a forgiving attitude.
Have pride in one’s performance and one’s school.
Be a friend, not an enemy, and create a positive environment.
Encourage others to do or be their best.
Sportsmanship should be contagious.
Remember it is a privilege to participate.
Practice sportsmanship in all situations at all cost.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP
Pride Do Your Best
Winning is not everything
Try to have fun
The play of the game is only a game
Play by the rules
Applaud when injured players get up
Congratulate opposing team
Help opponent up after a fall
Positive Mental Attitude
Responsibility for Actions
Consideration of Others
All members of the Night Hawk Athletic Department are first and foremost students of Thomas University. It is our expectation that all players are interested in and committed to pursuing their education and earning a degree.One way to honor our teams and our University is for every player to contribute to an overall department GPA of 3.0. This is one of the major goals of our program and qualifies us to achieve the Academic All-American list.
It is for that reason the following rules apply:
1. Class attendance is mandatory.
2. Players missing class will be subject to disciplinary procedures.
3. The late return from road trips will not be an acceptable excuse for failure to attend class.
1. It is the responsibility of each player to inform their professor of any time that will be missed due to our game schedule.
2. Each player must communicate with the professor to receive instruction on making up any missed work before missing any class.
3. Participation on road trips is a privilege and is not expected to deter from academic progress.
Study hall is convened at the pleasure of each head coach. See your head coach about the particulars of study hall for your particular sport.
1. Progress reports will be issued by the coaches to each player every four weeks.
2. Each player is required to turn in their progress report to their head coach within one week of receiving it.
Any organization which strives to achieve excellence must implant in each member of the organization an expectation of what excellence looks like. It is our goal at Thomas University to have our athletes become winners on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. The following conduct expectations will be followed by all members of our team.
1. Players must understand that being a member of the Thomas University Night Hawks team is a privilege, not a right.
2. Because you are an athlete, many people (particularly young people) look up to you. Justify the pedestal they place you on.
3. Be polite and courteous to all persons who are trying to help you and support our program. Not only does this include our fans and spectators, but includes people working on campus, in the dorm, in the financial aid office, and most importantly, your professors. Your conduct on and off campus is well observed, as you are a soccer player. Project the image of gentlemen and ladies.
4. Be well groomed, neat and clean. This applies on and off campus.
1. Members of the Night Hawks teams are expected to show respect to their teammates, their coaches, and their University.
2. Players are never to speak negatively about their team, their coaches, or their school. This applies at practice, at games, on campus, or away from school. You never know who is listening to your conversation and the impression you are making.
3. Nothing good ever comes from team dissension. We play as a team, we win as a team, and we meet adversity as a team.
4. Each player is expected to conduct himself as an adult and address all negative issues to the right person, at the right time, in the right way.
5. Failure to show respect in the proper manner will result in the administration of disciplinary procedures.
1. Players and coaches should utilize appropriate and acceptable language at all times. This applies at practice, at games, on trips, and at all team functions.
2. We will adhere to the culture of the region in which our University is located. What is acceptable “at home” may not be acceptable in our community.
3. Loud, profane, excessive, and offensive language will not be tolerated.
4. Racial slurs between members of the same minority or cultural groups are viewed as offensive as racial slurs from members of different backgrounds and will not be accepted.
5. The NAIA has issued a zero tolerance policy in regards to language.
1. All players are expected to abide by the laws of the State of Georgia as it pertains to alcohol purchases and consumption.
2. Players who are of age are expected to follow a 48-hour drinking ban before games.
3. In an effort to maximize our performance and value to our teams, it is recommended that players refrain from alcohol during the season.
4. The rules regarding alcohol consumption will be governed by the individual coaches. Each team will have their own policy, but in no cases will underage drinking be tolerated.
1. All players must sign the Drug Free School Policy of Thomas University.
2. Players can be selected at any time for random drug testing in accordance with the policy.
3. Any player failing the test must submit to a counseling program. If players refuse counseling, they will be removed from the team.
4. Any player testing positive for a second time will be expelled.
Occasionally you will be asked to attend functions as a team, both on and off campus. These functions are designed to publicize our team and make it known in the community; provide entertainment for the players, and to present educational and cultural opportunities benefiting the overall development of the player as a person. From attending a cookout at the home of the University President to spending an afternoon at an amusement park, the following rules apply.
1. Team functions will be announced at practice / communicated via e-mail at least one week in advance. Whenever possible, effort will be made to place these events on the team calendar.
2. Attendance at all Team Functions is MANDATORY.
* Players who are unable to attend a team function due to illness, conflict with a job, or because they will not be in town must submit a request in writing to your head coach at least one day prior to the function.
* A request must be submitted for each Team Function that you will be unable to attend.
* An unexcused absence at an announced Team Function will result in disciplinary action.
3. Players are expected to arrive at least 15 minutes PRIOR to the designated starting time of the event.
4. TU Polo shirts, Khaki pants (long), belts, and shoes are to be worn to all events unless otherwise announced. Players are to be clean shaven and well groomed. Hats are not to be worn.
5. All players are expected to be on their best behavior during team functions. Represent the team with “class”.
A DISCIPLINED PLAYER:
1. Knows the importance of BEING ON TIME.
2. Hard work in practice has taught him the value of regular hours and good training habits.
3. Has learned that the TEAM comes before himself. This strengthens his character as he is sometimes called upon to sacrifice for others.
4. Has learned to take orders; in taking orders he learns how to give them.
5. Knows discipline is the essence of every successful organization; as a member of the team, he understands the need for it.
6. Has learned that many of these things establish a degree of self-discipline.
LEVELS OF DISCIPLINE
Discipline will be administered in a progressive sequence characterized by “legal” terminology.
Ticket Players will perform physical conditioning at the discretion of the head coach.
Misdemeanor Players will be disciplined at the discretion of the coach, in consult with the Athletic Director. Game suspensions may be involved.
Felony Immediate suspension from all athletic-related activities. Length of suspension will determined by the Athletic Director, in consult with the head coach and Executive Vice-President.
Successive violations after the suspension will result in expulsion from the team.
Jail Time Players will receive a game suspension. The length (# of games) will be determined by the Head Coach, in consult with the Athletic Director. Players receiving a game suspension will be required to attend home games in street clothes unless prohibited by NAIA rules.
Death Penalty Players receiving the Death Penalty will be removed from the team.
In order to participate in Thomas University Athletics, each athlete must have primary insurance coverage that provides coverage for the entire school year. This insurance coverage must be a major medical plan, in either the athlete’s name or the name of their parent/guardian, which covers that student in athletic competition. Each primary insurance coverage must have a maximum deductible of $1,000.00, with $500.00 being the preferred deductible amount.* Each athlete must provide proof of insurance coverage, a copy (front and back) of the insurance card for the athletic trainer, and general filing instructions/information. The insurance plan must include coverage for the following:
1. General Physician visits for athletic injuries
2. Specialist Visits & Treatments (Orthopedists, Cardiologists, etc.)
3. Diagnostic Tests (X-rays, MRIs, EKGs, etc.)
4. Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
5. Orthopedic Braces, Casts, Splints
If the athlete does not have primary insurance coverage meeting these standards, the Athletic Trainer will assist the athlete in obtaining a policy that meets these requirements. *
Thomas University will provide each athlete with a secondary insurance policy through Summit America. This plan will ONLY cover athletic injuries that occur while participating in Thomas University Athletics. It will NOT cover injuries that occur outside of practice or game competition, as well as not covering general medical conditions that are not related to athletics. This policy has a $250.00 deductible that is the responsibility of the athlete, which, once met, lasts for the entire year and any athletic injury the athlete might incur during that year. This policy provides 100% coverage for all athletic injuries, treatments, and possible surgeries up to the reasonable* costs of such treatment. As long as the injury occurs within the athletic year, the coverage will be provided to completion of treatment or until the policy maximum is met. Once the policy maximum ($25,000 per injury) has been reached, the athlete and\or their insurance company are responsible for the remainder of the bill. Please keep in mind that this would be an extremely rare circumstance, but it is possible.
In order for an athlete’s claim to be filed with Thomas University’s secondary insurance policy, there is a standard procedure that must be followed. All illnesses and athletic injuries must first be brought to the attention of the staff Athletic Trainer.* From that point, an evaluation will be completed and Athletic Trainer, along with the athlete, will make the decision for treatment and/or referral from that point forward. If Athletic Trainer deems an injury needs the evaluation and/or treatment of a physician, then the appointment will be made by the trainer with a team physician and coverage will be also be provided by the school’s insurance plan. In the case of an HMO, the athlete may be sent to a physician in their covered network if necessary, but coverage will still be provided by the secondary insurance policy. If an appointment for an injury is made without the knowledge or pre-approval of the Athletic Trainer, the claim will NOT be filed with the school’s insurance policy. With this, if an athlete deems a physician appointment necessary against the evaluation of the Athletic Trainer, the claim will NOT be filed with the school’s insurance policy. In both of these situations, Thomas University will not be liable for any medical bills incurred by the athlete for these physician visits/treatments. For general illnesses, the athlete may use the general physician of their choice. However, it is recommended that the athlete use the University’s general physical since it will be easier for the Athletic Trainer and Team Physician to work together, as well as timely appointments and possible write-offs on medical bills not covered by the primary insurance.
*ALL INJURIES/ILLNESSES MUST FIRST BE REPORTED TO THE ATHLETIC TRAINER FOR ANY COVERAGE.
*All deductible expenses are the responsibility of the athlete.
*All expenses above standard medical rates or above Summit policy maximum are the responsibility of the athlete. However, this is not typical when used in conjunction with a quality primary insurance policy.
*If policy requirements are not met, the policy available will have a $500.00 deductible, be paid for by the athlete, and will need to be renewed in January with the deductible re-setting at that time.
Thomas University is not responsible for ANY medical bills incurred by the athlete that fall outside the scope of the policy provided by the University.
If at any point during the year the athlete is injured and the primary insurance is not in effect for any reason, the secondary insurance will not be filed, and the bill becomes the sole responsibility of the athlete. Further, when it is found that the primary insurance policy has lapsed, the athlete will be immediately prohibited from participating in any athletic activities.
Each athlete at Thomas University may or may not receive an athletic scholarship. The terms of this scholarship are laid out in the Athletic Scholarship and the Athletic Scholarship Summary. The terms of this agreement are at the discretion of the coach, and only what is written on these two forms will be honored. Oral agreements are not binding to the University in any way.
This part of the scholarship is paid only after the student has applied for and received all available grants, both state and federal. Any additional credit hours the student may take over and above the amount stated on the Athletic Scholarship Summary will be the sole responsibility of the student.
This cost may vary, due to lab courses or other mandatory class fees. The amount posted on the Athletic Scholarship will be the maximum amount paid, after all grants have been applied.
Any scholarship for meals will be applied in the following manner:
Half of the scholarship amount will be available at the beginning of the semester.
The remaining amount will be available after mid-term.
It is the athlete’s responsibility to make sure they keep up with what is left in the account.
Housing scholarships are available only for the Thomas University Residence Hall. When the student arrives, they are responsible for any monies that are not covered in their scholarship. This must be paid in full in the Business Office before the student will be allowed to move into the Residence Hall.
Read your Athletic Scholarship and Athletic Scholarship Summary carefully before you sign it. Once it is signed, it is a binding agreement for the athlete and the University.
Other rules apply to the scholarship as well as those stated above. The renewal, reduction, or revocation of a scholarship is at the discretion of the coach. It is a one year contract, and in no way implies a four or five year commitment. Any violations of team, University, or NAIA policies can result in revocation of the scholarship.
If a student is injured during the course of athletic activities, their scholarship will still be in force for the remainder of the academic year. That athlete will still be required to perform any duties as assigned by the coach during the duration of their rehabilitation.
If an athlete chooses to quit their respective team, their scholarship is immediately revoked, and the athlete will be responsible for repaying their scholarship for that semester.
Participating in intercollegiate athletics at Thomas University is a privilege, not a right. It is expected that the athlete will fulfill all responsibilities to the University, and the institution will reciprocate.
Having a successful program demands effort on both the part of the players and the part of the coaches. Our coaches are committed to putting forth the amount of effort necessary to win and to conducting themselves in a manner to which they can be held accountable to by their team.
1. We will have a positive regard for each individual player.
· We will recruit with honesty.
· We will become familiar with our players, their families, and background.
· We will become interested in our players both on the field and off the field.
2. We will be honest with each player.
· All players will know where they stand.
· Players will be informed of their strengths and their weaknesses.
· The dignity of every player will always be preserved.
3. We will communicate with our players.
· Our team will understand what they should expect of us as coaches.
· Our team will understand what we expect of them as players.
· We will be sensitive to their needs.
· We will have an open ear and provide time to listen to them.
4. We will be ourselves.
· We will demonstrate enthusiasm in all we do.
· We will follow the team rules as we expect them to do.
· We will allow our players to know us both as a coach and as a person.
5. We will let our players know what to expect in way of rules.
· We know that a team cannot function without discipline.
· We will be firm but fair – taking into consideration all situations are unique.
· We understand that the key to discipline is respect.
· We understand that the ability to mold a unified team takes a certain amount of conforming by all parties.
· We will be held accountable for our actions as we hold our players accountable for theirs.
6. We will make all decisions concerning our players the same way that we would make decisions concerning our own children.
From time to time, situations may arise that require a player to seek resolution outside of the team. Whenever possible, the player should attempt to reconcile the situation within the framework of the team and its coaches. When this is not possible, the following procedures should be followed:
Athletic Director: The athlete’s avenue will be the coach of their respective sport, but when further assistance is needed, the athlete will make an appointment with the Athletic Director. This meeting may be held in private, but the AD reserves the right to consult with the coach, and\or have the coach and/or Associate AD present at any meetings.
President: If, following the decision by the EVP, the athlete so chooses, he\she may appeal to the President of the University. The president will meet with the AD, EVP, and may choose to have the coach and\or player present. All decisions by the President will be final.
If any steps in the grievance procedure are missed, the complaint will become null and void. It is important to become familiar with this process to have your grievances addressed.
This procedure does not address issues related to academics or student life. For policies regarding academic or student life appeals, please see the Student Handbook.