Expectations of Athletes

As participants in athletic activities, our students represent the Putnam Valley School District: this representation is expected to be exemplary. In 1970, a landmark court case (Mitchell vs. Louisiana Athletic Association) interpreted educational rights under the United States Constitution as encompassing only classroom learning.  Students’ interest in athletic participation is not a protected constitutional right. When students accept the privilege of representing one of our schools in athletic competition, they accept the academic, social, moral and civic responsibility associated with such representation.

Student Athlete Code of Behavior and Ethics

Team membership in an athletic program is a privilege and a responsibility. A student’s conduct should reflect positively on the team and the school. As such, each student will:

  1. Place the team’s goals, welfare and success before his or her own.
  2. Attend all practice sessions and be receptive to coaching.
  3. Emphasize the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and play the game fairly.
  4. Show courtesy to visiting teams and officials.
  5. Respect the integrity and judgment of sports officials.
  6. Achieve a thorough understanding and acceptance of the rules of the game and the standards of eligibility.
  7. Encourage leadership, initiative, and good judgment by all the players on the team.
  8. Recognize that the basic purpose of our athletic program is to promote the physical, mental, moral, social, and emotional well-being of the individual players.
  9. Recognize that the concept of “win at any cost” is not a healthy one.
  10. Abstain from hazing or other forms of team initiation. Hazing is any form of verbal, or physical abuse that may include the use of telecommunication devices and/or internet modes of communication. This may involve emotional mistreatment, harassment, or abuse of a student in connection with his/her membership on an athletic team. Hazing includes any act that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers a person’ s physical or emotional health.  Hazing may also involve forcing, coercing, or intimidating any student to participate in any illegal, inappropriate and/or embarrassing activity.  Students should be aware that hazing can also constitute a violation of New York State Statutes as a form of assault and can make the student liable for arrest and prosecution, as well as for civil liability. Hazing is prohibited on or off school grounds prior to, during, or after the school day or the sports season. Agreement by a candidate for a sports team to participate in hazing activities as a requirement for admission does not absolve those proposing the activities (the offenders) of responsibility for violation of the athletic guidelines. Students who engage in hazing activities will be subject to disciplinary action by the school administration, which may include exclusion from the activity or the canceling of a sport season. 
  11. Engage in the healthy lifestyle of athletics. The use of alcohol, tobacco and/or illegal drugs is not suitable for students in pursuit of athletic achievement. Students who choose to engage in the use of these substances on and off the school district property during their competitive season will be investigated in accordance with Board of Education Policy. Students who choose to engage in the use of these substances during their off season will be requested to seek counseling through parental guidance and/or school support services.
  12. Contact the coach or Athletic Office if a practice or a contest will be missed because of illness or other legitimate reason.
  13. It is impractical and impossible to cover every rule or standard that will focus on the conduct and behavior of the athlete. If there is any question about some recognized behavior that violates school rules, the coach, Athletic Director or school administrator should be contacted.

The Board of Education and the School Administration reserve the right to remove or restrict any athlete who does not act responsibly in compliance with school and societal standards. This is in accord with the “Bill of Rights and Responsibilities of Students” and other Board of Education policies and procedures.