It’s nice to see a high school take the initiative to address the issue of athletes manipulating the consequence after violating their athletic code. That’s the story at TheTelegraph.com in their piece, School Board changes rules for student-athletes.
Athletic Codes are something you should certainly be familiar with if you frequent my blog as I have covered them from a variety of angles on many occasions in the past. However, for those new here, high school athletic codes normally stipulate that any athlete participating in extracurricular activities must abstain from the use of alcohol and drugs and not engage in behavior that is unbecoming of a representative of their school. It is an agreement between them and the school (a promise if you will) that they sign before becoming an athlete.
So how do athletes manipulate their consequence after breaking the “rules?” Well…many times, it goes something like this. An athlete gets caught using alcohol, maybe even gets arrested, and the school is informed. The athlete is brought into the Athletic Director’s office, is questioned, and, at some point (if found in violation), suspended from competition for whatever their particular code stipulates.
What the athlete does next is where issues can arise, a loophole so to speak. They try out for another sport and serve their consequence in that new sport for the “bad” behavior.
According to the referenced piece, that can no longer happen at Alton High School as they are now required to serve their suspension/consequence in their most dominating or strongest sport. What this does is add more clout to the consequence, as it greatly diminishes the chance an athlete can manipulate the system.
From my perspective, Alton High is taking a solid step forward by making the consequence for athletic code violations more meaningful, thus, giving them more power as a deterrent. If you can’t (or don’t want to) do the time, then don’t do the crime.
In the end, following one’s athletic code does a lot for helping athletes build discipline (and character depending on your viewpoint), a very important piece of the athletic puzzle. At least if one is striving to reach their own level of athletic excellence.
Great job Alton High, now let’s see if we can get other high schools to follow suite.