Athletes and the importance of following the student handbook

Every year, all McNicholas students and their parents are required to sign a statement that they have read the student handbook and understand the rules and consequences if those rules are not followed. McNicholas’ student athletes have an additional set of rules to follow, especially regarding drug and alcohol use, and every student athlete should be aware of the serious consequences involved by making one wrong choice.

“Coaches do have input in terms of what they feel the appropriate punishment might be.  Penalties can vary from a brief suspension to expulsion depending on the infraction,” Athletic Director Rob Heise said.

There is not much that a teacher or coach can do to stop a student from making these mistakes, but in addition to the specified rules by McNicholas for its students and student athletes, coaches also have the option to make a contract that the athletes have to sign before the season regarding alcohol and drug use.  Most of these contracts state that if the athlete is caught with drugs or alcohol from the start of the season to the end of tournament play, they could undergo punishments that vary from suspension to being removed from the team.

“We have had very few ‘in season’ issues in recent years which we define as from the first day of tryouts to the end of tournament play for a given sport,” Heise said.

Many students choose to ignore these policies, or just sign their contracts without even reading what they are signing.  In a recent Milestone survey, 54 of 86 of the student respondents to this question said that they think that most students don’t follow this policy. The survey also showed that 61 of the 86 student respondents said the punishments for violating these rules are strong enough for those who do violate the policy.

“People are out doing this stuff all of the time and most coaches just turn a blind eye to it due to favoritism or the fact that they don’t want people to know it goes on,” Senior Will Allgeier said.

Student-athletes everywhere sometimes make the mistake of using drugs and alcohol, but there is only so much schools and parents can do to stop it.  Coaches, school disciplinarians, and parents need to enforce the rules that have been set for these student athletes.

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