Ethics and Advocacy for HR Professionals
The National Collegiate A …
Ethics and Advocacy for HR Professionals
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a member -driven organization
dedicated to collegiate athletes’ well -being and long -term performance. Football was the primary
athletic focus of this case study. The NCAA was established to ensure that college students can
excel in their sport while also meeting the high expectations set by their schools (Donohue, et al.,
2018). Although this organization exists to assist college athletes in their well -being and long –
term performance, it also tries to hold athletes, coaches, and stakeholders to a high standard of
The failure of the NCAA’s Ethics program to prevent scandals.
There are numerous ways i n which an ethical program can go wrong. Over a long period
of time, an assistant football coach at Penn State has been accused of sexually assaulting at least
eight young males. Penn State was penalized by the NCAA with a $60 million fine, a four -year
pos t-season suspension that prevents the school from participating in any post -season games
until 2016, and a four -year decrease in football scholarships of ten per year (McCrea, et al.,
2020). Among Penn State’s failures was the football program’s and the un iversity’s complacency.
In 1998, the first event was made public knowledge. In 2001, there was another report.
Continuing to allow this indifference to go unchecked resulted in a school culture that was not
Ohio State is another example of how the NCAA’s Ethics program failed. The incident
was caused by rule infractions by student -athletes and the coach’s subsequent cover -up of those
violations. The NCAA failed by having administration that were not ethical. The violation was
known about nine months before it was ever reported. Performing regular investigations to
counter any unethical activities would help prevent these types of violations from happening in
the first place.
The last example of how the NCAAâ€™s Ethics program fa iled was with the University of
Arkansas. Due to their personal relationship, Head Coach Bobby Petrino hired Jessica Dorrell
without informing the university of a potential conflict of interest. Not only was this in violation
of the NCAA, but also illegal. The NCAA failed i n this situation by not performing adequate
research when another member was hired. With adequate research and investigation, this matter
could have been avoided and saved the University a lot of issues.
Principal ways in which NCAA leadership led to uneth ical conduct
The leadership of the NCAA portrayed their weakness within their ethical program by
not corresponding with the universities as well as educating the Universities of new rules or
policies created. Throughout the Penn State scandal, the behavior from the school officials
portrayed a complacency that spread through the students and staff ( Kroshus, et al., 2019). With
this complacency, made, and the offenses were not addressed in a timely manner. With
additional communication with the universities, the incident could have been taken care of and
possibly other students from being harmed.
The leadership of the NCAA also had a major role in facilitating ethical infractions at
Ohio State. With regular communication, the NCAA could have found that the football team was
barte ring gear for tattoos and cash ( Hamilton & LaVoi, 2020). This incident was not discovered
for nine months, when the Head Coach Jim Tressel was aware of it. Having an ongoing
communication system between the NCAA and the School offici als will create a positive
atmosphere for everyone to communicate together.
Within the University of Arkansas, the NCAA leadership contributed to ethical violations
by not providing regular updates to the requirements needed for hiring staff. If the Unive rsity
was aware of the different qualifications for hiring, Jessica Dorrell may not have been hired due
to her relationship with Head Coach Bobby Petrino. Having adequate communication and
regular updates and education to the Universities to the NCAAâ€™s sta ndards and policies, these
scandals may not have happened or perhaps been less severe.
Key differences in the Scenarios that have occurred
These instances may have been avoided if an effective ethics program had been in place.
Penn State, for example, wou ld not have been deterred by the allegations leveled against their
coach. Instead, if there had been an ethical program in place, the event would have been quickly
probed. Recognizing the necessity of prioritizing student wellbeing over relationships or
reputations will assist to avoid any form of controversy that will affect the University more than
Within Ohio State, there were students covering up violations to protect their coach. With
a strong ethics program, the students would do the right thing and report the incidents instead of
cover them up. The students would offer the NCAA protection against or defense against
litigation and violations. The students could have prevailed in this situation, instead of having to
face the negative backfir e that their silence rewarded.
When the University of Arkansas opted to hire the head coach’s female partner, a good
ethics program would have helped the university. In this case, doing character reference and
background checks would have been beneficial. While the coach is an important part of a team’s
success, he may also be its downfall. When the coach’s acts were discovered, the University of
Arkansas suffered a lot of pain as a result of covering up for him and disregarding important
Two steps that the NCAA needs to take in order to recover people’s faith and
In order to regain the trust and confidence of numerous stakeholders, notably students,
the NCAA’s leadership must articulate its position on ethics. To ensure that studen ts and
stakeholders are aware of their position, a commercial on ethical behavior should be played
during every televised NCAA athletic event (Ford, et al., 2018). The NCAA should send a
message of zero tolerance and establish explicit guidelines that spel l out the consequences for
anyone who breaks the code of ethics. Furthermore, the NCAA should exercise greater
monitoring and compel each employee of a school’s athletic program to sign a code of ethics
declaration. They can also form a group of coaches an d players who will lead by example and
speak out against ethical infractions.
Two measures that HR departments can take to prevent similar incidents
Actions must be taken to prevent such occurrences from occurring within universities.
Actions speak louder than words when it comes to regaining trust and confidence. Staff and
students at universities that follow similar approaches will be following the same ideas. Policies
and procedures shall be known and followed if ongoing classes or trainings are required for all
students and instructors to review, acknowledge, and sign.
The HR department of universities and colleges should respond and educate faculty
whenever the NCAA introduces a new policy. Students, in turn, should be educated by the
professors. Ensuri ng that the repercussions are severe not only for the person but also for the
entire student body, faculty, and university will create a serious atmosphere (Covell & Walker,
2021). By holding all individuals, departments, and programs accountable for their activities, the
overall impression will be that these rules, policies, and procedures are here to stay and are for
the University’s benefit.
The NCAA has done many positive things for Universities and Colleges over the years.
They have acquired a terrible reputation at times, yet they do all possible to protect youngsters
participating in athletic activities. Strong ethics programs and an overall strong ethical attitude
and environment will generate a positive environment for the teacher and stu dent body. Without
an ethical curriculum, many of these students would be exploited or taken advantage of. It is
essential that universities and colleges collaborate with the NCAA rather than against it. Many
individuals who do not take the ethics program seriously will have their eyes opened by
demonstrating to universities and colleges that actions matter and all parties involved will be
held accountable, whether in a negative or positive manner.
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