POSTED: Wednesday April 25th 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
High-School Sports Best Practices Alert: Creating a Compliance Program, Part II
Author: Justin P. Sievert, Esquire (Of-Counsel)
In the March issue of High-School Sports Best Practices Alert, we began a two-part series focusing on how your school can create a basic, yet effective, compliance program. The first entry discussed the four key elements in a compliance program and the NCAA C.O.D.E. principle. This issue expands that analysis by discussing essential components every compliance program should have.
The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm believes every high-school compliance program should include six basic components: (1) a compliance organizational structure; (2) a rules-education program; (3) rules-interpretation procedures; (4) internal investigation and self-reporting procedures; (5) rules-monitoring systems for key areas of high-school compliance; and (6) available compliance resources.
Compliance Organizational Structure: At the high-school level there needs to be at least one staff member designated with compliance responsibilities. Whether your school chooses to assign these responsibilities to the athletic director, an assistant athletic director, a coach or another staff member outside of athletics, it is important that this person is clearly identifiable by other staff members, student-athletes, and parents. Each high-school should also establish a compliance committee. The purpose of the compliance committee will be to advise the compliance officer and assist with rules education, communication, rules-violation investigations, and monitoring tasks. The compliance committee should consist of staff members from various offices (i.e., a senior athletics administrator, a senior faculty member, a senior institutional administrator).
Rules-Education: Rules education is a vital component of any compliance program because it provides the parties with the knowledge base to act appropriately. Rules education should occur through the use of both written materials (i.e., newsletters, emails, compliance manual). The written materials should focus on relevant topics and practical information. Rules education meetings should be scheduled on a monthly basis. These meetings should highlight significant legislative changes as well as current compliance issues. These meetings should involve the active participation among attendees and provide a varied presentation approach. Both rules education meetings and written materials should be presented to coaches, staff members, student-athletes and parents groups.
Rules-Interpretations Procedures: Student-athletes, coaches, staff members and parents groups should have a forum to ask a question relating to your school's governing body's legislation. These requests should be made in a written format and include the individual's name, the issue presented, the interpretation provided, the source of the answer and the date of both the request and answer.
Internal Investigations and Self-Reporting Rules-Violations: All schools should have defined procedures for the investigation of alleged violations as well as a method allowing individuals to self-report rules-violations.
Monitoring Systems: Monitoring systems are essential for key areas of high-school legislation. These areas include student-athlete academic eligibility, student-athlete transfer eligibility, and financial aid (if applicable).
Compliance Resources: Compliance resources are essential in allowing parties involved in high-school athletics to make rules-compliant decisions. Your school should have available your governing body's legislative rulebook, your school's compliance manual, your school's student-athlete handbook and other pertinent resources in an online format for parents and student-athletes and in a hard copy format for your school's staff members.
Contact Justin P. Sievert (954-941-1844;firstname.lastname@example.org) for recommendations on enhancing your school's interscholastic athletic compliance program.
Compliance Corner: A Review of Bylaws, Violations and Cases
The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm provides an analysis of bylaws, alleged rules-violations, compliance issues and cases involving secondary schools and student-athletes on the firm's blog under the "High-School" category. The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm blog is located at:
by clicking here.
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Name: Michael L. Buckner Law Firm
Organization: Michael L. Buckner Law Firm
Phone: (954) 941-1844 (Office)
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