NCCA Ethics and Compliance Program
NCCA Ethics and Compliance Program
The decision by NCCA to circumnavigate its principles and procedures was an institutional lapse, which was unprecedented. The institution is charged with the responsibility of designing the rules, principles, and guidelines meant to oversee higher learning campuses in their management of internal athletic programs. However, in recent years, the body has been unable to avert three scandals, namely the Penn State, University of Arkansas, and Ohio State scandals. In 2011, a former Penn State assistant coach to the football team was accused of sexually molesting several young boys in the team for a number of years. The investigation into the matter revealed that the first allegations were made in 1998. The case was reported to the university police, and Gary Schultz, who was the acting senior vice president for Business Finance (Ferrell et al., 2015). An internal investigation was performed with no criminal charges initiated due to a lack of evidence. Another 2001 report was discovered where a student witnessed the sexual assault of youth athletes by the same coach. According to head coach Joe Paterno, campus administration was notified, but no legal action was taken.
Head Coach Tim Tressel was one of the first administrative officials to be made aware of the sexual violations taking place in the school. However, the coach failed to report the matter to relevant persons in the school. The 2012 reports reveal that Petrino recruited Dorrell as a coaching staff member (Clotfelter, 2019). However, Petrino failed to acknowledge the conflict of interest present in the selection given he had a personal relationship with the lady. Dorrell was offered the job despite holding another employment position as a state employee. Moreover, the investigations also identified that Dorrell received numerous monetary gifts from Petrino that summed up to $20000 (Kelchner, 2015). NCCA failed to avert such lapses in judgment because of punishments are given cost less to teams compared to the benefits entailed in bending the rules for the same guilty teams.
Effective ethics programs typically entail a mandatory reporting policy for certain misdeeds, such as sexual assault. If such a plan was existent in Penn State, it would have initiated an investigation at the time of the first allegations. For Ohio State University, the acknowledgment was the primary issue. An effective ethics program would have necessitated that all individuals read and sign in agreement the institution’s codes of ethics. For Arkansas University, a rigorous employee recruitment process was lacking (Gurney, Zimbalist & Lopiano, 2017). The institution should have had an independent committee charged with the responsibility of vetting potential hires. The committee would have also made the rules concerning the recruitment of state employees clear.
NCCA’s role in the scandals negates any possibility of leveling criticism to a single individual or group. The institution needed to come out holistically and accept all the blame for failing to act once the first allegation was made. NCCA should have had a spokesman to represent the body in accepting liability and subsequently clarifying on the institution’s position on ethical practice. The event should have been televised at the national level. The move is meant to inform the public that the institution is towards a path of zero-tolerance against unethical behavior or practice.
Following the scandals, all senior management in NCCA should have resigned from the institution. The act would inform the public that some people within the organization stand in solidarity with the victims. The act would equally denote the institution is accepting blame for the role it played in protecting the pedophile. The move would equally be strategic as it creates room for external investigation from relevant law enforcement personnel. In corporate investigations, managers are often given leave or barred from office to facilitate the completion of procedures without their due influence. Nevertheless, following all those years of laxity, it is extremely difficult for an institution like NCCA to regain public trust. Even after rebranding and restructuring, the public will always have room for criticism.
Coaching staff, amongst other members of upper management, need to ascertain that higher learning institutions have clear guidelines against sexual assault. The guidelines should also cover other ethical requirements for personal conduct while within the school premises. The coaching staff and students must all sign to bear witness that they have read and understood the ethical guidelines. HR should have an independent committee solely tasked with the responsibility of drafting, administering, and storing the signed guidelines as they represent contractual agreements. However, there is also a need for more distinct guidelines per learning institution.
Each higher learning school is subject to its unique ethical problems. Therefore, there is a need for distinct policies and solutions. In the prevention of ethical concerns, such as drug abuse or gender violence, Human Resource must have a comprehensive understanding of the organizational culture (Jennings, 2018). HR should first perform primary research to determine the attitudes, perceptions, standards, and values of the employee base. Such a measure will play a critical role in informing the development and implementation of codes of ethics.
Clotfelter, C. T. (2019). Big-time sports in American universities. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ferrell, O., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2015). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases (Tenth ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Gurney, G. S., Zimbalist, A. S., & Lopiano, D. A. (2017). Unwinding madness: What went wrong with college sports – and how to fix it? Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
Jennings, M. (2018). Business ethics: Case studies and selected readings. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Kelchner, L. (2015). The importance of ethics in organizations. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-ethics-organizations-20925.html