Standards and Ethics

Standards and Ethics

Standards and Ethics

Article I - Purpose of Standards and Ethics Committee
The purpose of this Committee is to investigate possible and alleged violations of current NJCAA Eligibility Rules, and violations of Codes of Conduct as it relates to Region XIX member institutions. The rules governing eligibility for competition is described in Article IV of the Region XIX By-Laws. Directors' of Athletics must review this section annually.

Article II - Membership of the Standards and Ethics Committee
The Region Director shall appoint the members of the Standards and Ethics Committee.
The membership of the Standards and Ethics Committee will consist of: five (5) voting Athletic Directors of member colleges.  One of the members of this committee shall be selected as Chair, one selected as Assistant Chair who will serve as the Recording Secretary.
When there is a matter brought to Standards & Ethics that involves the institution of a committee member, the committee members must excuse themselves from the committee's deliberations. The committee chair will appoint a substitute/s from the membership.  

Article III - Scope of Committee
To consider matters pertaining to alleged violations as they relate to scholarships, grants-in-aid, NJCAA Rules of Eligibility, unsportsmanlike conduct, or unethical conduct of Region XIX institutions; self reported, reported to the Executive Committee or reported by another institution and supported by written and documented tangible information.

Article IV - Process
1. All cases of eligibility violations or misconducts involving Region XIX member institutions must be submitted in writing to the Chair through the Regional Director (10) days prior to each Regional meeting.

2. If a violation or charge (self-reported or by another institution) is brought against a member college, the affected college(s) must report and submit information to the respective Regional Director prior to communication with the NJCAA.  In addition, the affected college(s) will be notified in writing or email format with a Letter to Appear before the Standards and Ethics Committee. This invitation to appear will be sent directly to the Athletic Director. Upon receipt of the invitation to appear, the Athletic Director will be required to submit a report, including pertinent videotape (mandatory in the sport of basketball), to the Chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee outlining the nature of the charge or incident, any administrative action taken, and any other pertinent information relating to the alleged violation. This report will be due seven (7) days from receipt of the Letter to Appear.

2a. In the event that a reportable violation occurs just prior to a regularly scheduled Region XIX Standards & Ethics Meeting, the institution(s) involved will be required to submit their reports, in writing, at the first meeting date of the regularly scheduled Regional Meeting.

3. After careful investigation, a hearing will be scheduled at which time the college will be afforded the opportunity to defend its actions and/or refute the charges. Minutes will be taken during the entire course of the hearing.

4. The Standards and Ethics Committee will report and make recommendations to the full legislative assembly on its findings. The Athletic Directors (or other designated representative) of member institutions will vote to accept or reject the recommendation of the Committee. The legislative assembly of Region XIX shall have the power to change the recommendations of Standards and Ethics by a majority vote of the quorum.

5. Should a member institution wish to appeal a recommendation of the Standard and Ethics Committee that has been adopted by the membership of Region XIX, the institution may do so through the "Procedures of Appeal" as outlined in Article VIII of this code.
The procedure by which a college will be penalized shall be consistent with the goals and objectives of the NJCAA and Region XIX.

Article V - Eligibility Violations Time Frame
Eligibility violations will remain active for a period of two (2) playing seasons after season of the affected sport violation. After two (2) years, a new offense will be dealt with as a first offense.

Article VI - Categories of Violations
Offenses are classified in the following categories:
A. Controlled - preventable by the college administration. (Examples)

1. Late Submission of Eligibility Forms
2. Allowing a student/athletic to compete before receiving, reviewing or validating a transcript or pertinent academic certification and compliance information.
3. Eligibility Form Error - rule misinterpretation
4. Under some circumstances, repeated unsportsmanlike behavior or fighting may be classified as a controllable offense.
Note: If a second controlled offense by the same institution occurs within a two (2) year period, the sport in which the violations occurred would be placed on probation for a one (1) year period.
When charges are deemed Controlled Violations, a letter of reprimand will be sent to the Athletic Director and the College President.

B. Non Controlled - Unforeseen event/situation. (Examples)
1. Student drops from full-time to part-time without any internal checks
and/or balances in place to prevent it.
2. Student misrepresents information to the Athletic Director by supplying false information.
When charges are deemed Non-Controlled Violations, a letter will be sent to the Athletic Director.
C. Forfeits
An institution must make every effort to fulfill their Region Division schedule and all out of division contests that have a signed agreement.
In circumstances that require a cancellation forfeit between two Region XIX teams, the Standards & Ethics Committee will review a formal written justification or explanation from the offending college.
The Standards & Ethics Committee will review the circumstances and render a decision that may include one or more of the following sanctions:
*The offending team must cover all contest expenses incurred by a home or visiting team involved in the forfeit.
*The offending team will be eliminated from any post season play for the current season.
*The offending team will be eliminated from any post season awards.
*Subsequent forfeits in the same sport season may lead to the offending team being placed on Region probation for the following season in that sport.  Failure to meet agreement obligations in that sport during the probationary period could lead to further penalties such as; continuted ineligibility for post season play, Region teams not being mandated to schedule the offending team, or additional sanctions.
Only emergency and/or serious circumstances will be deemed as an acceptable means of forfeiture.  Under-rostered teams, selective scheduling or the number of games per week are not considered to be emergencies or serious circumstances.
Article VII - Violation Men & Women's Programs
For the purpose of determining an appropriate penalty, violations of NJCAA Rules of Eligibility in sports where separate NJCAA tournaments are held for men and women, violations pertaining to the men's program will be considered as a separate category from those pertaining to the women's program.   Multiple controlled violations in a college program may include additional penalties and/or probation.  In the event the NJCAA imposes penalties upon an institution, the Region will not impose any additional penalties or duplicate those already assessed.

 Article VIII - Forfeiture
When an institution acknowledges a definite non-appealable eligibility violation, the college, if called for in the case, shall submit letters of forfeiture, within a period of ten (10) working days after the acknowledgement.

Article IX - Procedures for Appeal of Region XIX Legislative Vote
Section 1. GENERAL
Procedures set forth in this Article are the sole methods for the challenge of decisions recommended by the Standards and Ethics Committee and subsequently voted on by members of Region XIX. No member college or any of its athletes or employees can institute any suit at law or in equity or seek any court injunction or restraining order concerning any dispute or controversy involving Region XIX enforcement or interpretation of any of the Bylaws, rules, or regulations of the NJCAA.

The Executive Committee of Region XIX shall make all decisions concerning challenges and/or questions of the interpretation and the enforcement of the Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations of the Standards and Ethics Committee of Region XIX. In addition, in situations or cases which warrant a safety concern, and when time is of the essence, the Executive Committee may enforce or unilaterally set forth restrictions prior to a regularly scheduled Standards and Ethics Committee meeting.

A. Any member college affected by a decision of the Standards and Ethics Committee and subsequently ratified by the Legislature shall have a right to appeal that decision to the Executive Committee of Region XIX.

B. The request for appeal must be sent to the Division Director of Region XIX. The request for appeal to the Executive Committee must be in writing and must be received by the Director within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date of the decision by the Region XIX Legislature. The request for appeal must be signed by the president of the appealing college and set forth in detail the appealing college's basis for challenging the decision of the Region XIX Legislature.
The appealing college may attach any documentation it deems appropriate to its request for appeal
C. The appealing college may present its appeal in writing to the Executive Committee or may request an oral hearing. Oral hearings before the Executive Committee will be held at a location determined by the Executive Committee for its meeting.

D. In its request for appeal, the appealing college must notify the Director whether the college desires an oral hearing or a written appeal. In the event the appealing college fails to notify the Director of whether it desires an oral hearing on its appeal, it will be conclusively presumed that the appealing college waives such oral hearing.

E. The appealing college's request for appeal shall set forth the factual basis for its appeal, including all defenses it deems appropriate. The appealing college shall set forth in detail each Bylaw and/or rule and regulation of the NJCAA involved in its appeal and list specific reasons why the decision of the Region XIX Legislature should be reversed. The Director shall forward the appealing college's written presentation to each of the members of the Executive Committee in a reasonable and timely manner.

F. In the event that an appealing college has requested an oral hearing, the hearing shall be held for the Executive Committee with the following procedures:
1. The Division Director of  the Executive Committee shall act as presiding officer at the hearing. In the absence of the Director a majority of the Executive Committee members present shall select the presiding officer among themselves.
2. At all oral hearings, the appealing college may be represented only by an employee of the college and the student-athlete at the oral hearing may only be represented by either an employee of the appealing college or by the student-athlete himself or herself. Either the appealing college or the student-athlete or both may have legal counsel and present to advise them, but such legal counsel may not make a presentation directly to the Executive Committee at the oral hearing. The institution/s involved may bring a stenographer to the hearing.  As the hearing will be a discussion of institutional matters, it will be closed except to individuals involved, representatives of the institutions involved, members of the Executive Committee and any relevant parties the Committee requests to be present.  Members of the media and press will be excluded from the hearing room.
3. The appealing college shall present its relevant evidence (witnesses and documentation). The Executive Committee will have the right to cross-examine any witness presented by the appealing college.
4. After the appealing college has presented its relevant evidence, the Executive Committee shall have the right to present any relevant evidence it deems appropriate. The appealing college shall have the right to cross examine any witness presented by the Executive Committee.
5. All proceedings of the oral hearing shall be recorded in the official minutes.

G. In the event of an oral appeal, a decision will be reached by roll call vote of the Executive Committee members present.

I. Decisions of the Executive Committee concerning the appeal shall be in writing. In cases where there is no oral hearing, the decision of the Executive Committee shall be due within fourteen (14) days from the date the appealing college's written presentation is received by the Division Director, as set forth above. In cases where oral hearing is had before the Executive Committee, a decision of the Executive Committee shall be due within seven (7) days after the date the said oral hearing is completed.

J. Unless a majority of the total number of the members of the Executive Committee votes to overturn the decision of the Region XIX Legislature, the appeal will be denied. Majority shall mean the majority of all of the members of the Executive Committee, not just a majority of those members who actually vote.

Section 4:  Expenses

The appealing college will bear the financial expenses incurred during the appeal process. Expenses shall include travel, accommodations, and phone expenses for the Executive Committee, legal counsel, legal stenography and all other pertinent related expenses.

Section 5:  Further Appeals to the NJCAA  Executive Staff and Executive Committee

Following the decision of the Region XIX Executive Committee, the NJCAA appeal process is set forth and outlined in Article VII of the NJCAA Bylaws.

Revised: 10/08
Revised: 10/11 (TT)