Approved March 1998 by the Athletic Advisory Committee
Approved April 1998 by the Faculty Senate
Approved June 1998 by President Leitzel
The University of New Hampshire, first and foremost, is dedicated to the promotion of learning and scholarship, and to meeting the public need for educated citizens. The University achieves that goal by completing its three-fold mission of teaching, research, and public service. UNH also values the role played by athletics in the life of the community. Student athletes are representatives of the University in intercollegiate competition, and their athletic and academic excellence brings credit to UNH. The University recognizes that student athletes must balance the demands of their sport with the academic obligations they assume when they enter an institution of higher learning. The following policy is designed to acknowledge that challenge, and to assist the athletes, as well as faculty members, coaches, and administrators, in managing conflicts that could arise between the legitimate demands of both academics and athletics.
A. POLICY ON GAMES DURING ACADEMIC SEMESTER:
1. UNH student athletes have the responsibility of notifying each of their instructors before the end of the period for adding classes about any possible conflict between scheduled class meetings, exams, or assignment due dates, and scheduled athletic contests, especially those involving travel off campus. Such notification shall be in writing or by electronic mail, and shall include specific information about the dates the student will not be in class, nor available for an exam. Student athletes are responsible for completing all reading, and acquiring all lecture notes and other material introduced in the class during their absence.
2. UNH faculty are requested to be flexible and offer reasonable accommodations for student athletes whose schedule of intercollegiate athletic contests requires them to be absent from class, or miss scheduled quizzes, exams, or assignment due dates. The specific accommodation offered shall be determined by the faculty member, but might include make-up quizzes, alternate due dates, or rescheduling of exams. The faculty member retains the right to make the final determination about course scheduling, academic requirements, and assignment due dates. However, given that student athletes represent the University when participating in competition away from campus, absence by a student athlete resulting from his/her travel to, or participation in a regularly scheduled intercollegiate athletic contest, about which the faculty member has been properly notified, shall not incur an academic penalty (i.e., lower grade), even when a portion of the grade in a course is based on attendance.
3. Except for absences resulting from travel to, or participation in regularly scheduled intercollegiate athletic contests about which the instructor has been properly notified, UNH student athletes shall have the responsibility of attending class, sitting for exams, and meeting assignment due dates on the same schedule as other students enrolled in the same course, and may be penalized for absences other than those resulting from such travel or participation.
B. POLICY ON PRACTICES DURING ACADEMIC SEMESTER:
1. No faculty member shall be required to excuse a UNH student athlete from class, or from an exam, quiz, or assignment, because of a conflict with regularly scheduled athletic practices. If it becomes apparent that such conflicts will occur regularly during a semester, the student athlete should consider dropping a course, or otherwise altering her/his academic schedule to avoid excessive absences.
2. Student Athletes should notify coaches as soon as possible of any conflict that arises between an academic obligation (such as a common exam) and regularly scheduled practices, when such conflicts cannot be resolved first through consultation with the course instructor involved.
3. UNH coaches shall have the option of excusing an athlete from a scheduled practice for academic reasons. Coaches are encouraged to be flexible in considering conflicts that occasionally arise between the academic and athletic obligations of the student athlete. The decision regarding excused release from practice for academic purposes shall be made by the coach, and not by the student athlete or faculty member involved. Except during final exams, no UNH athletic coach shall be required to alter his/her regular practice schedule, or excuse an athlete from practice, to accommodate the academic schedule of a student athlete.
4. In the event of an unresolvable problem, ultimately the student athlete is responsible for deciding what is in her/his best interest, and accordingly determining the outcome of all conflicts between academic and athletic obligations.
C. POLICY ON GAME SCHEDULING DURING EXAMS:
1. The Department of Athletics, in cooperation with the Coaches of UNH intercollegiate teams and their respective conferences, should make every effort to avoid scheduling games or meets during the period of final exams for both Fall and Spring semesters.
2. Notification of the UNH final exam schedule, along with a copy of this policy, should be forwarded to the various athletic conferences as soon as the exam schedule is made available by the University.
3. Because conflicts may occasionally arise between the UNH exam schedule and regular season games, championship meets, or conference playoffs in which a UNH team, or individual athlete may be expected to compete, UNH student athletes shall have the option of declining to participate in those games, meets, or matches in order to devote time to preparation or completion of final exams.
4. In the event of a conflict between final exams and a scheduled athletic contest, the student athlete has the responsibility to notify as soon as possible the instructor(s) of the course(s) involved in the conflict. The UNH student athlete shall have the option of requesting a rescheduling of the exam, and UNH faculty members shall make every reasonable effort to accommodate student athletes. The final decision regarding rescheduling of exams, or assignment of alternate course work remains with the faculty member. UNH student athletes are responsible for completing their exams and assignments according to the schedule determined by the instructor of the course.
5. Participation in a scheduled athletic contest during the final exam period shall not be considered sufficient reason for requesting or issuing a grade of incomplete (IC).
D. POLICY ON PRACTICE DURING FINAL EXAMS:
1. UNH student athletes must be given every reasonable opportunity to prepare and successfully complete final exams and other assignments required in their academic courses.
2. UNH athletic coaches may not schedule mandatory practices, scrimmages, or other mandatory team or individual training during final exam periods.
3. UNH athletic coaches may schedule optional workouts or practices, and are encouraged to remain flexible in offering such opportunities to their athletes.
4. Consistent with space and personnel constraints, the Athletic Department shall offer access to various training and practice facilities on a flexible schedule during final exam periods.
5. No UNH student athlete may reschedule a final exam, or postpone a final assignment due date, because of a conflict with a scheduled but optional individual or team practice session.