Statement of Principles for Intercollegiate Athletics

Throughout its long and proud history, the University of Notre Dame has embraced the philosophy that a well-rounded athletics program-including

club, intramural and intercollegiate competition-comprises an integral part of Notre Dame’s educational mission. This philosophy reflects the

importance of operating an intercollegiate athletics program that fully comports with the University’s aspirations as a Catholic institution.

Notre Dame therefore dedicates itself to the pursuit of excellence in intercollegiate athletics within the framework of an academic community

committed to the University’s educational and religious objectives. Notre Dame also commits itself to the unquestioned integrity of its athletics

programs. All individuals involved, directly or indirectly, in the athletics enterprise must maintain and foster the values and goals

associated with the University’s mission as a Catholic institution of higher education.

As a Catholic university, Notre Dame espouses Christian values and principles. These include the development of the human person-spirit as

well as body-the pursuit of excellence in all endeavors, the nurturing of Christian character, and the call to personal integrity and responsibility.

By providing a general description of the structures that support these endeavors, this document articulates the central values and expectations

that guide Notre Dame’s participation in intercollegiate athletics.


Notre Dame adheres to the principle of presidential control over

intercollegiate athletics. The Director of Athletics reports to the

President, who exercises ultimate responsibility for the conduct of the

University’s intercollegiate athletics program. The Faculty Board on

Athletics serves as the principal advisory group to the President on

educational issues related to intercollegiate athletics. The chair of the

Faculty Board on Athletics also serves as the NCAA- mandated Faculty

Athletics Representative.

Basic Principles

The Faculty Board on Athletics nurtures Notre Dame’s commitment to

academic integrity within the athletics program, strives to ensure that the

University’s athletics program operates in consonance with Notre Dame’s

educational mission, and actively promotes the welfare and educational

success of the University’s student-athletes. The Board also functions as

a formal liaison between the faculty and the athletics department.

In carrying out its charge, the Board reviews policies, procedures and

practices that affect the educational experience of student-athletes and

advises the President of its findings and deliberations. The Board

systematically ascertains the views and concerns of student-athletes. The

Board reviews data on admissions of student-athletes and on their academic

performance, progress towards a degree, and graduation rates. The Board

assesses the effectiveness of institutional support for student-athletes.

In addition, the Board sets guidelines for the approval of all student

petitions for a fifth year of eligibility for athletics and votes on each

such petition. The Board establishes guidelines for all intercollegiate

athletics schedules and qualifications for captaincy of all University

teams, and votes on all proposed schedules and captaincy nominations. The

Board also assesses and revises procedures for resolving prospective

conflicts between final examinations and post-season championship events.

In its role as a liaison to the broader faculty, the Faculty Board

disseminates appropriate, non- confidential information and initiates

discussions on educational issues regarding intercollegiate athletics and

the related concerns of the faculty and administration.

The Faculty Athletics Representative champions academic integrity,

promotes the welfare of student-athletes, and helps ensure institutional

control of intercollegiate athletics. More specifically, the Faculty

Athletics Representative works with the President and the Director of

Athletics to maintain appropriate University oversight of intercollegiate

athletics; assists the President and Director of Athletics in determining

institutional positions on proposed NCAA and conference legislation; serves

on search committees for senior athletics administrators and head coaches;

oversees decisions regarding eligibility of student-athletes; remains

visible and available to student-athletes; and actively participates in all

investigations and reports of possible NCAA violations.


Notre Dame dedicates itself to providing to all of its students an outstanding education. The University commits itself to developing in its

students those disciplined habits of mind, body and spirit that characterize educated, skilled and free human beings. Notre Dame calls its

students to pursue the wisdom of our culture and religious heritage, and to experience the human family’s diversity and interdependence. To accomplish

these objectives, the University provides to its students, on an equitable basis, ongoing opportunities to cultivate their moral, intellectual and

physical well-being.

Basic Principles:

Any student hoping to succeed at the University needs a significant

level of ability and preparation. Therefore, the Office of Undergraduate

Admissions will accept into the University only those student-athletes who

demonstrate, on the basis of the best available academic and

character-based information, the capacity to complete a degree at Notre


Even for individuals manifestly well suited for Notre Dame, the

adjustments to the rigors of academic and athletic life in a highly

competitive university present difficulties. The University recognizes its

responsibility to provide appropriate assistance to enable student-athletes

to meet the demands of both academic and athletic competition. To this

end, the University affords its student-athletes suitable academic counsel

and support, primarily under the auspices of the Provost’s Office. Other

sources of support, both academic and personal, include the faculty,

academic advisors, the residence-hall staff, coaches, athletics

administrators and the Student Development Program.

The University strives to schedule practices and competitions so as to

minimize conflicts with class periods and other academic assignments of

student-athletes. In this regard, the rhythm of the academic year and the

particular importance of final examinations warrant special attention. All

playing schedules remain subject to the approval of the Faculty Board on


Notre Dame expects its student-athletes to maintain the appropriate

sequence and number of courses and the grade-point-average necessary to

complete a degree within the usual time (normally four years), including

summer classes when appropriate. Any exception to this policy remains

subject to the approval of the Faculty Board on Athletics.


Like other students, student-athletes should have the opportunity to pursue fully the University’s academic, cultural and spiritual resources. The

University holds student-athletes not only to the same standard of conduct that applies to other students, but also to that higher level of behavior

appropriate to their visibility.

Basic Principles:

Student-athletes must comply with all University rules and guidelines,

including those set out in both the student handbook, du Lac, and in the

Student-Athlete Handbook. The Office of Residence Life and Housing

enforces the University-wide rules according to procedures applicable to

all student disciplinary matters.

The University strives to integrate student-athletes into the student

body so that all students may take full advantage of the educational and

other opportunities afforded by campus and hall life. Given the centrality

of residential life to the University’s mission, student-athletes normally

live in residence halls; exceptions to this policy remain subject to the

approval of the Faculty Board on Athletics. Moreover, Notre Dame provides

no separate residence halls or sections of residence halls for


The University lists among its primary concerns the physical and mental

health of all members of the Notre Dame community. Because of the dangers

inherent in athletic competition, the prevention of injuries and the

provision of medical care for student-athletes demand particular concern

and deserve constant attention. The appropriate sports-medicine and

athletics-training personnel alone determine whether injury or illness

precludes a student-athlete from practicing or competing.

Because of the harm illicit drug use causes and the pressure on

student-athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs, drug-related education

and counseling to student-athletes require particular emphasis. As a

preventive measure, all student-athletes remain subject to regular, random,

and unannounced drug testing according to the University’s established

drug-testing protocol. University Health Services decides the timing of

drug tests, determines whom to test, and administers the tests. The

drug-testing protocol prescribes the treatment of test results and the

consequences of a positive test.

Notre Dame regularly provides chaplains for athletics teams.

Chaplains’ duties include pastoral care and liturgical services for

student-athletes, coaches and staff.


The University strives to maintain a staff of coaches who represent the best in athletic instruction, who possess the ability to motivate and

inspire, and who take responsibility for the full development of the student-athletes within their charge as students, athletes and persons.

Coaches, who after all are primarily teachers, share with members of the faculty and other University personnel the obligation to educate, train and

otherwise assist in the formation of students entrusted to them.

Furthermore, Notre Dame recognizes the important role each coach plays in the University’s overall educational mission and makes this aspect an

important part of both the coach’s position description and periodic evaluation. Because of the public nature of their work, coaches represent

Notre Dame in a highly visible manner. Their words and actions should therefore reflect the University’s values and principles.

Basic Principles:

Notre Dame expects the personal and professional lives of its coaches

to reflect the highest standards of behavior. Coaches’ actions must

demonstrate that athletic success may not jeopardize institutional or

personal integrity or the welfare of student-athletes.

Notre Dame expects its coaches to appreciate the primacy of academic

life at Notre Dame and to emphasize that primacy during the recruitment and

education of student-athletes and their participation in intercollegiate


Notre Dame requires its coaches to adhere to the policies and

procedures of the University, its conferences, and the NCAA. To that end,

Notre Dame provides a comprehensive orientation to new coaches and suitable

continuing education to other coaches. The University treats seriously all

violations of University, conference or NCAA standards and reports such

violations according to the applicable conference or NCAA procedures.


The Director of Athletics and the other administrators in the department of athletics supervise all activities of the athletics program at the

University. All aspects of the program must accord with the principles of justice and fairness. In addition, Notre Dame expects the personal and

professional lives of its athletics administrators to reflect the highest standards of behavior. Athletics administrators also must adhere to the

policies and procedures of the University, its conferences, and the NCAA.

The University treats all violations of such policies and procedures seriously.

Basic Principles:

The University maintains full and direct control of the financial

operations of the athletics department, including all revenues. The

operating budget and the ongoing financial activities of the athletics

department remain subject to the same approval process as all other units

of the University.

Historically, Notre Dame’s athletics program has generated funds

sufficient to cover its expenses, as well as to provide funds for the

University’s general operating budget. The generation of revenue must

always take into consideration Notre Dame’s integrity and priorities.

The University commits itself to the principle of racial, ethnic and

gender diversity in the composition of its coaching and administrative

staffs. Notre Dame will make every reasonable effort to promote this

commitment as positions are created or vacated.

Consistent with its overall academic mission and program, its financial

resources, and the athletic interests of its student body, the University

will provide a full and stable athletics program for both sexes. Notre

Dame embraces the principle of gender equity, and will continue to monitor

its intercollegiate programs in accord with this principle.

In considering conference affiliations, the University will assess the extent to which the other institutions involved share Notre Dame’s educational philosophies and goals, as well as its commitment to integrity in intercollegiate athletics.


Notre Dame endeavors to maintain a highly competitive athletics program consistent with its tradition, heritage, and overall mission as a Catholic

university. It will attempt to excel in intercollegiate athletics, but always in conformity with its primary role as an educator and moral guide.

Notre Dame will conduct its intercollegiate athletics program so as to support the University’s commitment to education, as well as the letter and

spirit of the policies and procedures of the University, its conferences, and the NCAA.