STATEMENT OF POLICY ON UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
Policies and regulations governing athletics at Wittenberg have been established from time to time by the faculty and Board of Directors. Because of national concern about the appropriate balance of college athletics and academic programs, and in the light of the continuing concern about the treatment of students as athletes, including women and minorities, Wittenberg wishes to restate the policies on athletics that are ratified both by the faculty and the institution's Board of Directors. The Wittenberg University Policy on Athletics is hereby proposed for that kind of review and affirmation.
The athletic tradition at Wittenberg reaches back to the college's founders. In establishing an American college in the New England tradition, they placed a strong emphasis on athletic as well as literary exercises in the extra curriculum. Before the Civil War students participated in cricket and rugby; by the turn of the century, in cycling, baseball, football, and basketball; and in the 1970s, soccer and lacrosse. The emphasis upon athletics in the tradition of the American college was reinforced by Wittenberg's German heritage. In the 1870s Wittenberg was an enthusiastic participant in a renewal of German culture in the new world, a development which included a greater emphasis on physical culture and physical education in all levels of American education. The expansion of athletics by the turn of the century was in part the result of clergy presidents who deplored the weak physical condition of pastors and most other educated persons. As Lutherans, educated persons including pastors were called to maintain the health and strength of their bodies so as to enable them to contribute to society in a vigorous manner. Also at the turn of the century, student leaders asked entering freshman not to become "parodies of the crowning work of creation" by neglecting their physical development. They encouraged participation in sports. By the 1920s, the campus YMCA and YWCA were dominant student organizations. The city YMCA, by generating enthusiasm and interest in athletics in the Springfield community, also strengthened interest in the Wittenberg programs.
The athletic tradition at Wittenberg has historical, theological, and geographical sources which have given rise to the institution's distinctive emphasis on athletics in balance with a sound academic program.
The mission of Wittenberg is to develop in harmony within its students the intellectual, spiritual, social, and physical qualities which characterize wholeness of person, and in this way to develop the creative minority of a civilization. As a part of this mission Wittenberg teaches respect for and appreciation of the physical world and humanity's place in nature and recognizes the obligation to care for the human body and to nurture, conserve, and protect natural resources. Participation in intercollegiate athletic programs is a natural expression of this mission provided that these programs are administered in consistency with it, and provided that these programs are not developed at the expense of health and physical education, and intramural and recreation programs which are made available to the entire student body.
SUMMARY STATEMENT OF POLICY
Wittenberg's first concern is for the strength and integrity of the academic program. That is the reason for the institution's being and is our primary responsibility to students. Beyond that, Wittenberg University believes there is a place for many extracurricular activities, including sound athletic programs. All facets of the university's extra curriculum, however, must be kept in proper balance and evaluated in the light of educational objectives. In athletics this means, among other considerations, wide participation by all students, both men and women, in many different sports and activities, both intercollegiate and intramural, and an appropriate emphasis on and provision for recreational sports and less formally-organized play.
For men's and women's intercollegiate sports, Wittenberg University will compete in the NCAC which includes traditional rivals and with colleges and universities whose academic character and size make them similar to Wittenberg. Our aim will be to participate competitively within our conference, rather than to build our program around the goal of winning national championships. This aim does not exclude playing a few strong nonconference teams or participating in a post season tournament when from time to time the relative strength of our team within our conference qualifies us to represent the conference in such competition.
Our formula for competition will consist of including on our teams only student-athletes who combine an interest in academic scholarship with the keen desire and a proven ability for intercollegiate athletic competition with similar students at comparable institutions. It is imperative that these students be admitted to Wittenberg on the basis of their potential as students, and eventually, as alumni, as well as their potential as athletes. Wittenberg shall provide such men and women with excellent coaches, appropriate equipment, and adequate facilities on a basis of equality and without discrimination of any kind, including discrimination by individual sports, race, or gender.
SPECIFIC POLICY PROVISIONS
Wittenberg University will provide athletic opportunity on a basis of equality for all students, regardless of race or sex. In providing equal athletic opportunities for both men and women, the University will be guided by the expectations of Title IX. Men's and women's teams will be treated equitable in all aspects of the program.
Wittenberg University will maintain an Athletic Program that is completely above reproach, maintaining standards equal or superior to those enumerated by regulatory groups (NCAA, NCAC) and consistent with Wittenberg's own high expectations. In cases where the rules conflict, the stricter rule or interpretation will apply. The institution's commitment as a church-related University that honors Christian ethical standards will guide policies and decisions in athletics as in all other areas of activity and interest.
Responsibility for oversight of athletics rests with the president and, under his authority, with the faculty. The responsibility in operation is delegated to the Provost, the Director of Athletics and Recreation, and the faculty committee on Athletic Policy and Recreation which is chaired by the faculty representatives to the North Coast Athletic Conference.
Uniform standards will be maintained for all students with no exceptions for athletes or others because of specific talents or skills. The University will have clearly stated, written policies for admission, maintenance of good standing and progress toward graduation. Only regularly assigned admissions officers will discuss admission possibilities officially with applicants. Wittenberg University will follow off-campus recruiting guidelines of the North Coast Athletic Conference and NCAA.
The University will have clearly stated, written policies for the awarding of scholarships, grants-in aid, loans, and college-supervised work. Uniform standards will be maintained. All financial assistance will be institutional and conference policies regarding honor awards. Need must be determined on the basis of uniform methodology, such as the financial aid form of the College Scholarship Service. Only regularly assigned Student Aid individuals will make commitments with reference to any aspect of aid, including employment. Only written assurance from the Director of Student Aid will be valid.
Any student enrolled in Wittenberg is eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics after eligibility has been determined and certified by the Registrar according to the appropriate NCAA and athletic conference policies. All questions concerning eligibility are to be referred to the Registrar.
The University will complete and have available for public inspection all reports of financial aid to athletes and academic profiles required by the President, the faculty, and the North Coast Athletic Conference. The University's records should always be open to bona fide inspection.