Conference USA member institutions value the principles of sportsmanship and the ideal of pursuing victory with honor in intercollegiate athletics. The Conference believes that athletics should be conducted in a way that reflects positively on the individual participants and institutions. The standards of sportsmanship below are written to emphasize the basic expectations of the Conference related to sportsmanship and provide the Commissioner with broad authority to ensure that Conference activities are consistent with these principles.
The essential elements of sportsmanship and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of character building and six core principles: respect, responsibility, fairness, honesty, integrity and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these six principles.
- Member institutions' student-athletes, coaches and staff shall conduct themselves in an appropriate manner in connection with all intercollegiate sporting events in which they participate ("Events"). They shall conduct themselves as positive role models and represent their institutions in a manner that exhibits the principles of sportsmanship. They shall exhibit respect and courtesy towards all participants, and comment about other institutions, coaches and student-athletes only in a positive manner.
- Behavior that is not considered sportsmanlike or appropriate in connection with Events includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Striking (e.g., kicking, hitting, throwing objects at) or other acts of violence, attempted acts of violence or attempts to incite violence;
- Obscene, profane, demeaning or unduly provocative language, gestures or actions directed towards an opposing team, institution, contest official, staff member or spectator;
- Public criticism of or publicly disparaging statements about an opposing team, institution, contest official, staff member, or spectator;
- All other actions, as determined by the Commissioner, in violation the principles and standards of sportsmanship.
- The management and conduct of Events is the responsibility of the hosting institutions. In their discharge of this responsibility, through the appropriate seating of students and the provision of adequate support personnel and security, all member institutions shall ensure a competitive environment that is safe, fair, and consistent with the principles and standards of sportsmanship.
- All ancillary support groups subject to institutional control (e.g., spirit squads, bands, mascots) shall conform to the principles and standards of sportsmanship.
- Institutions are responsible for the conduct of spectators at Events they are hosting. Spectators whose conduct is abusive to officials, participants or spectators, or that violates reasonable social standards of conduct, should be removed from the Event.
- Spectators should not be permitted on the court or the field of play until the visiting team and officials have made safe transition to the locker room.