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What could be at stake for athletes

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What could be at stake for athletes

Ava Stigler, Editor in Chief

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Being a student athlete at PV is both a privilege and a responsibility. No matter the sport, there are clearly stated rules that an athlete must follow in order to retain these privileges.

When looking through a team handbook, you essentially see a list of moral guidelines, such as “I accept responsibility for my behavior on and off the field. I understand that what I do and say affects my teammates, school, and other people either positively or negatively”. Under these guidelines is a signature line and a final statement that reads: “Because I represent my family, school, and team, I abide by the policies, rules and guidelines of the school, team, and coaches.”

So, what counts as breaking a rule and what are the consequences when a rule is broken? It’s difficult to tell.

3-year varsity cheerleader Gibby Yost explains, “Rules are laid out pretty clearly for us cheerleaders, and they apply to other sports as well. A violation of the code of conduct could entail activities such as cursing, public displays of affection while in a Spartan uniform, or anything that could potentially threaten a team’s reputation. The rules state that a first offense means that you are suspended for 25% of the season, the second one means 50%, and a third offense and your whole season is gone. It’s important to be careful, because it’s ultimately at the discretion of the athletic department. Whatever is deemed inappropriate by others and is reported to D’Anne is in her hands in terms of which punishment is suitable for the situation.”

How well-aware of these rules are athletes? Carli Spelhaug, 4-year multi-sport varsity athlete says, “At the beginning of each season, every one of my coaches has gone over the rules and the consequences. They are well communicated and understood by all team members. I think it’s definitely fair of them to go about it the way they do, because a lot of times the punishment isn’t up to the coaches. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, consequence decisions are determined by someone higher up who doesn’t care how good you are and will punish everyone fairly.”

While it depends on the sport, team, and offense, PV sports teams take their reputation seriously and will take violations of rules seriously when they deem this reputation threatened. As an athlete, it is important to make decisions that only reflect your team’s best interests to ensure your spot and the team’s status.

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What could be at stake for athletes