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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 23, 2005

Committee Forwards Student Athlete Code Of Conduct Draft To Skorton

Members of a University of Iowa committee charged with developing a Student Athlete Code of Conduct have unanimously endorsed a final draft and forwarded the document to UI President David Skorton for approval.

The Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA) also forwarded two recommendations that it said should be met before the document, "University of Iowa Student Athlete Code of Conduct: Rights and Responsibilities," is made official: the text's somewhat technical language should be edited so it's more easily understood by students, and the code should be reviewed by the UI General Counsel.

A PDF version of the draft code is available at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2005/february/022205code-draft.pdf. A copy of the PCA's cover letter is available at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2005/february/022205code-letter.pdf

Skorton thanked the committee for its work.

"This is an important and necessary document," Skorton said. "The committee put a great deal of wisdom, care and consideration into the writing of this code, and I'm confident it will benefit and protect not only our student athletes but the entire community."

The process of developing the code began with the reconvening of the PCA's Student Athlete Welfare Subcommittee (SAWC) to review the student athlete codes and practices at comparable institutions, NCAA and Big Ten Conference rules and existing UI policies. It also involved the establishment of more updated grievance procedures, recruitment guidelines, sexual harassment training and substance abuse policies.

Additionally, the subcommittee and the Department of Athletics incorporated into the code issues of importance to the welfare of student athletes.

"This was of particular importance to the student athlete member of SAWC, who urged the committee to incorporate matters of concern to all student athletes, rather than merely react to one particular crisis," the PCA reported in the cover letter accompanying the draft code. "The result is a document that unequivocally sets forth university policy and expectations."

The cover letter was signed by PCA Chair Ana M. Diaz-Arnold, a professor in the College of Dentistry, and Marcella David, a professor of law and chair of the SAWC.

"First and foremost, athletics participation is a privilege that entails certain obligations on student athletes, including the responsibilities of being a representative of this university," Diaz-Arnold and David said in the letter. "Second, student athletes are entitled to a climate of respect and support for their scholarly endeavors and an environment that does not support hazing and respects racial, ethnic, cultural and religious differences.  Along those lines, perhaps the most important part of the work of the sub-committee was not the code itself but setting the procedures in place and clearly communicating university philosophy and expectations."

The Department of Athletics plans to disseminate the code beginning with the fall 2005 semester, pending Skorton's approval. The PCA will continue to review the policy as it gets feedback from student athletes and the Department of Athletics.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu; Writer: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.