The Constitution of the MEAC cites as a purpose of the Conference that its members shall establish, organize and supervise intercollegiate athletics in a group of institutions of like high academic standards and of like co-curricular programs; seek to cultivate and to develop the highest athletic potential of each member institution, by encouraging the constant pursuit of excellence through the concerted effort of the entire membership.
The Conference proposes to accomplish this end by promoting mutual trust and friendly relations among the members; by controlling athletic competition and keeping such competition within the bounds of sound educational activity; by promoting clean sportsmanship; and by developing public appreciation for the educational values that accrue from participation in intercollegiate athletics.
The officers and administrators of the MEAC place a high premium on professionalism, sportsmanship, and ethical conduct. As such, there are significant penalties for any breach of conduct during the course of regular season competition and to an even greater extent during the conduct of MEAC Championships.
For purposes of general definition, misconduct in a MEAC Championship is any act of dishonesty, unsportsmanlike conduct, unprofessional behavior or breach of law on the part of any recognized University representative, occurring incident to, en route to, from or at the locale of the competition or practice that discredits the event or intercollegiate athletics.
WHO IS INVOLVED IN UPHOLDING SPORTSMANSHIP
Role of Chief Executive Officers (CCEO)- The CCEO have directed that all representatives of the Conference’s member institutions shall exhibit ethical behavior at each Conference competition and conduct themselves in accordance with the rules of the NCAA and the Conference and the playing rules of the respective sports. They have directed that each member shall create a healthy environment for competition, free of a hostile atmosphere for opponents. This responsibility is to be shared by administrators, coaches, and student-athletes, plus others involved in intercollegiate athletics in the Conference.
They have directed the Commissioner, Supervisors of Officials, and game officials to apply the playing rules tightly and assess appropriate penalties--not merely issue warnings--when violations occur.
Role of Athletic Administrators (AD) - Athletics administrators, led by the AD, must communicate the expectation of good sportsmanship to all representatives of the institution active in intercollegiate athletics. It is particularly imperative that this message is impressed on each coach, along with the intention that the coach will require compliance with the Sportsmanship Statement by each member of the team. The AD must ensure that opponents are treated with fairness and respect. All aspects of game management must be controlled to assure such treatment, including crowd behavior.
Role of Coaches - Coaches must perform first as teachers and must fulfill the same responsibilities as those expected of every member of their institution’s professional staff. The coach’s behavior influences that of the student-athletes concerning their obligations to the coach, the institution, intercollegiate athletics, and themselves. Respect for an opponent can most effectively be conveyed to the student-athletes by the manner in which the coach speaks of and acts toward the opponent.
Role of Student-Athletes - Student-athletes are first and foremost students. Thus, they have responsibilities to comply with institutional academic and athletic policies and procedures. Further, student-athletes must pursue academic excellence, and consistently make satisfactory progress toward degrees in the same manner as non-student athletes.
Student-athletes must honor the responsibilities that accompany the privilege of representing an MEAC institution by adhering to Conference and playing rules, and the Sportsmanship Statement. Student-athletes are expected to treat opponents with respect. They must be aware significant penalties will be applied for fighting, taunting an opponent, or other unethical conduct.
Role of Public Address Announcer - Each public address announcer should provide an impartial and evenhanded report of the event. Partisanship in this area inflames emotions and can promote poor sportsmanship by participants and spectators.
Role of Spirit Groups and Bands - Like the student-athletes, members of spirit groups and bands are highly visible representatives of MEAC institutions. They can influence the behavior of others. Each spirit group should welcome its counterpart group, and demonstrate respect for its members. Likewise, it should convey respect for each opponent, student- athlete, and team.
Role of Officials - Although each game official has a demanding and difficult job to officiate the contest, he/she also will be directed to apply without hesitation or reservation the rules governing conduct and sportsmanship during each Conference competition. When doing so as directed, the official will have the support of the Conference, each member institution, and its administrators and coaches.