The ongoing parade of high-profile NCAA enforcement investigations of
colleges and universities would lead any reasonable person to conclude college
sports lacks ethics. Despite the existence of NCAA Bylaw 10 (which requires
athletics staff and student-athletes to adhere to certain ethical behavior),
the media reports purport to show a constant stream of unethical behavior in
intercollegiate athletics. An institution can address a lack of ethics and
professionalism through a formal ethics and professionalism education program.
In fact, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends colleges and universities
supplement their mandated NCAA rules-education program with programs and
materials on ethics and professionalism that should provide clear answers to
the following questions:
1. What are employees and student-athletes ethical obligations under NCAA Bylaw 10?
2. What are Ethics?: [Hint: Ethics are the rules or standards governing the conduct by which people live their lives or make decisions.]
3. What is Professionalism? [Hint: Ethics is the minimum standard while professionalism constitutes the higher standard. Specifically, professionalism offers no official sanctions or rewards. Finally, professionalism demands a person does the right thing for right’s own sake.]