In 1997, the NCAA's member schools and conferences established the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct, which includes representation from all three Divisions.
The committee's mission is to improve the condition of sportsmanship and ethical conduct in all aspects of college athletics by developing and implementing strategies that foster greater acceptance of the value of respect, fairness, civility, honesty and responsibility.
The committee has developed the following definitions for sportsmanship and ethical conduct:
- Sportsmanship is a set of behaviors to be exhibited by student-athletes, coaches, game officials, administrators and fans in athletics competition. These behaviors are based on values, especially respect and integrity.
- Ethical conduct is a set of guiding principles with which each person follows the letter and spirit of the rules. Such conduct reflects a higher standard than law because it includes, among other principles, fundamental values that define sportsmanship.
Since the establishment of the committee, the group has focused on two areas:
- Provide best practices and creative tools (e.g., the RESPECT campaign) for campus and conference implementation.
- Increase the awareness and profile of the NCAA Sportsmanship Awards.
NCAA Bylaw 2.4 The Principles of Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct.
For intercollegiate athletics to promote the character development of participants, to enhance the integrity of higher education and to promote civility in society, student-athletes, coaches, and all others associated with these athletics programs and events should adhere to such fundamental values as respect, fairness, civility, honesty and responsibility. These values should be manifest not only in athletics participation but also in the broad spectrum of activities affecting the athletics program. It is the responsibility of each institution to: (Revised: 1/9/96)
- Establish policies for sportsmanship and ethical conduct in intercollegiate athletics consistent with the educational mission and goals of the institution; and (Adopted: 1/9/96)
- Educate, on a continuing basis, all constituencies about the policies in Constitution 2.4-(a). (Adopted: 1/9/96)
NCAA Bylaw 21.2.8 Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct
126.96.36.199 Composition. The Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct shall consist of 11 members. One student-athlete from each division (who shall have one combined vote) shall serve as a member of the committee. The Division I student-athlete may serve on the committee up to one year after completion of his or her intercollegiate athletics eligibility. The Division II and Division III student-athlete may serve on the committee up to two years after completion of his or her athletics eligibility. (Adopted: 1/14/97 effective 8/1/97, (Division I Revised: 11/01/01) (Division II Revised: 1/14/02) (Division III Revised: 1/13/03))
188.8.131.52 Duties. The committee shall be responsible for promoting sportsmanship and ethical conduct within the Association. (Adopted: 1/14/97 effective 8/1/97)