Red Storm teams expect excellence

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Attending parties, skipping classes and alcohol use are all part of the average college experience—but not for Dixie State University athletes.

Player character and honesty have been in the spotlight after the suspension of Brigham Young University’s linebacker Spencer Hadley for breaking the school honor code. Union High School head coach Matt Labrum also suspended his entire football team for cyber bullying and bad grades. 

Athletic Director Jason Boothe said when athletes join a team at DSU, they are required to read the athletic handbook and attend a meeting based on rules and regulations of the NCAA and DSU. After the meeting, athletes sign an agreement saying they understand the material presented to them and will uphold the rules.

Some rules prohibit illegal drug use, alcohol consumption, hazing and gambling. In most cases, if athletes do not keep these rules, they receive a one-week suspension and are required to attend counseling. If they continue with their behavior, they will be asked to leave the team. The only exception to this is if players are caught selling, using or possessing illegal drugs. They will be asked to leave and will have their scholarship revoked. 

Boothe said most of the DSU athletes have been living up to their expectations.

“We have great kids in the athletic department,” Boothe said. “We have a few issues every year, [but] that is just part of being in the athletic department.”

While the department has had to step in this semester, Boothe said the infractions were nothing serious, and no athlete has been dismissed.

Athletes are also required to attend classes on a regular basis, take a minimum of 12 credits each semester, and maintain a grade point average of 2.0. 

To make sure athletes keep progressing toward a degree, they are required to complete 24 credit hours a year with passing grades. 

Student athletes are required to attend a supervised study hall, which sets the athletes apart from regular DSU students. Along with rules set by the school and the NCAA, each team has rules that are set up by the players and the coaching staff.

Some of these rules pertain to curfews, partying before a game and poor grades. 

Players and the coaching staff of the women’s soccer team created rules and guidelines at the beginning of their season and have been working on following them.

“The No. 1 rule for our team is to be aware of what goes in your body,” said defender Danica Pickett, a senior communication major from Las Vegas. “We also set a standard for grades this year to have a 3.2 GPA.”

Other teams on campus have created rules but like to keep them amongst the team.

All rules were set because the athletes are the face of the school, whether they are on or off campus.

“I know that we represent the school,” Pickett said. “Even when we are grocery shopping, we are being watched.”

Boothe said the athletes have been representing the school well with their actions and expects them to continue with good behavior.

“We want the athletic department to have good exposure,” Boothe said. “If a player acts irresponsible, it reflects poorly on the team, department and the school.”

Player character and honesty have been in the spotlight after the suspension of Brigham Young University’s linebacker Spencer Hadley for breaking the school honor code. Union High School head coach Matt Labrum also suspended his entire football team for cyber bullying and bad grades.