From time to time, student-athletes have conflicts with their coaches or other staff members. To resolve these conflicts, direct and honest communication between coaches and athletes is strongly encouraged and indeed expected. Most conflict is best resolved by the individuals directly involved confronting issues, communicating candidly and in good faith and jointly seeking resolution.
What follows is a process designed to bring about the satisfactory resolution of conflict. The process attempts to balance the need to address issues of student-athlete welfare with the obligation to provide coaches, other staff members and students with a fair, reasonable and transparent process. The process will end either when resolution is achieved or the process is completed.
Every reasonable effort should be made by the student to initially raise the concern directly with the coach (or other staff member). If a conflict is not resolved directly between the individuals involved or if a concern is of a serious or sensitive nature that is not conducive to direct communication, the aggrieved student should submit a written complaint to the Director of Athletics and Recreation.
In her or his sole discretion, the Director of Athletics and Recreation will determine if an investigation will be conducted internally or referred to an external mediation committee. Depending on the nature of the complaint, some matters must be referred to other University processes (e.g., matters arising under the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct).
If the matter is handled internally, the Director of Athletics and Recreation (or designee) will conduct a fact-finding, including interviews and meetings as appropriate, and seek to bring about a mediated resolution. The student who brought the complaint may be accompanied by one person during any meetings or interviews. That person’s role is entirely limited to providing support to the student; the support person is not an advocate or active participant and thus may not question other participants or make statements. The support person will be required to leave if he or she engages in disruptive or other inappropriate behavior. The student should inform the Director of Athletics and Recreation at least three business days before a scheduled meeting if a support person will be attending. If the person providing support is a lawyer, a representative of the University’s Office of Legal Counsel also will attend the meetings.
If the matter is referred to the external mediation committee, Step 3 of this procedure will be invoked.
The external mediation committee is composed of: UChicago’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) and two individuals representing the Office of the Dean of the College and Campus & Student Life, respectively. The Director of Athletics and Recreation (or designee) will serve as an ex-officio member.
The committee will conduct fact-finding, including interviews and meetings as appropriate. The student who brought the complaint may be accompanied by one person during any meetings or interviews, as described in more detail in Step 2. At the conclusion of the fact finding, the committee will make recommendations to the Director of Athletics and Recreation as to whether any reparative or corrective actions are appropriate. The Director of Athletics and Recreation will determine, in her or his sole discretion, whether to accept the recommendations of the committee. As appropriate, reparative or corrective actions will be communicated to the student who brought the complaint. The Director of Athletics and Recreation will oversee the implementation of any reparative or corrective actions.
No retaliation may occur against an individual who initiates this process. Retaliation will not be tolerated and will be subject to the appropriate University procedures and sanctions.