Coaches' Perceptions of Conference Code of Ethics.

Publication Title

The Physical Educator

Publication Date


Document Type



Coaches, sports ethics, athletics, sport management


Business | Sports Management


In society today, there is a greater concern about the moral and ethical conduct of those in leadership. In particular, rules violations within intercollegiate athletics have risen, which has lead to increased pressure on administrators to encourage positive ethical behavior within the realm of their influence. One result of this greater concern about moral and ethical conduct has been the establishment of codes of ethics by intercollegiate athletic conferences. These codes are an attempt to provide guidance to those involved with intercollegiate athletics. With this in mind, the current study examined perceptions of coaches relative to codes of ethics being used by NCAA intercollegiate athletic conferences. A sample of head coaches from NCAA Division I, II, and III institutions were utilized for the present study. Of the 354 coaches sampled, 109 completed and returned the questionnaire for a response rate of 31%. Results indicated coaches rated the ideals of sportsmanship, promotion of values (e.g., honesty, integrity, and fair play), healthy environment, and professional conduct as most important to be included in a code of ethics. Coaches' stated codes should be directed at athletic administrators, coaches and student-athletes with athletic administrators and coaches being responsible for ensuring ethical conduct of those involved with intercollegiate athletics. When asked whether a code should be specific, general or a combination, more than half the sample indicated a code should contain both specific and general standards and warnings. Two differences in perceptions of coaches based on gender and division were identified. Additional findings and implications for athletic administrators and coaches, as well as recommendations for future research are discussed.