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
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
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.
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.
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.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ATHLETICS
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.
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.