New Athletic Code Of Conduct Set In Wake Of Wayne Hills Controversy

Code applies to high school and middle school athletes.

A new athletic code of conduct, enacted nearly five months after an alleged fight involving Wayne Hills football players, gives coaches broad powers to suspend athletes who violate the code -- whether it be on or off school grounds.

The policy goes into effect immediately.

Student athletes in either high school and each middle school will have to sign the code of conduct if they want to play sports. Parents of students younger than 18 must also sign it.

“This new code is an extremely positive step forward for the district,” Superintendent Ray Gonzalez said in a statement “Now, students, coaches, and parents alike will know exactly what is considered acceptable.”

The policy states that team coaches are charged with establishing discipline and basic rules for their teams. Coaches also have the right to suspend athletes for “infractions of these rules” and the code.

According to the policy, students must always:

  • Reflect positively on the team, school and district.
  • Support positive discipline and the overall educational environment.
  • Follow the rules established by the team, school, and district.

The district’s substance abuse policy is also part of the new code. The policy prohibits students from using all forms of tobacco, alcohol, steroids or chemicals that release vapors.

Athletes who violate the policy will be suspended until the coach makes a recommendation to the school’s athletic director and principal.

Previously, there were separate codes of conduct for Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley high schools.

The code applies to students whether school is in session or not. 

“This code of conduct is in effect before, during, and after school hours, over weekends and breaks, and applicable on or off school grounds,” the code states.

The policy was enacted due to an incident that occurred last October involving nine football players from . The players were . At least one case has been dismissed.

Wayne Hills football coach Chris Olsen received criticism from residents for not suspending the players from the team's first two state playoff games last year.

The Board eventually , and an administrative law judge . Hills  despite the players being banned from the game.

The Board of Education stated in November that a new unified code of conduct would be introduced as part of an action plan in response to the incident.

"Since last fall, our community has been quite focused on the topic of appropriate conduct for our student-athletes, and this document throughly address those questions by eliminating 'gray' areas," Gonzalez said in the statement. 

Olsen and Dan Kilday, the athletic directors at Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley, could not be reached for comment. 

Gonzalez said that, through the chain of command, “other administrators are able to get involved” in the disciplinary process if necessary.

When drafting the new code, Gonzalez sought input from several Wayne school district administrators, representatives from other, local school districts, and Steven Timko, executive director of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association, the state’s governing body for high school athletics. He also met with Christopher Cref, acting commissioner of the state Department of Education.

The code also applies to athletes at the district’s three middle schools. The district’s former interscholastic athletic policy applied to high school athletes only.

This is not the first sweeping change that has been made this year regarding the district's athletic programs.

The board  in January that prohibits administrators and supervisors from coaching sports teams or acting as advisors to any athletic or extra-curricular program.

pam roz March 20, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I don't understand this post at all??? "Bad behavior should not be rewarded either?" Where and when was it rewarded? "bad behavior is a right? How and when did it become a right?
Michelle March 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Pam I doubt BOE was basing their decision solely on the comments made on this website. Last I checked BOE covers both WH and WV so why do you think they listen to haters and not to people who were on WH side? They did what they thought was right at the time. A very difficult decision, no doubt. Noone wants to make a mistake but sometimes they happen...even in the "real world" innocent people are accused of crimes and later dismissed. It happens. It's a shame and sad but I don't think it was this sight that made BOE come to their conclusion.
Michelle March 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I was thinking the same thing. And then I thought a little further...how about a code of conduct for humanity? A lot of us have all lost our code of conduct. People forget how to treat each other. Whether or not you like someone's ideas or which side of town their from...we should be nice to each other. It should start at home and be reinforced in schools whether or not you belong to a sport. Children typically follow the guide of their parents. We should all be better role models and maybe the kids will be better in the end, as well.
still in town 78 March 20, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Like I said before multiple times the only thing some of these kids are guilty of is playing for Wayne hills football! Its amazing to me how success makes people envy the successful.
leanbean March 20, 2012 at 03:50 PM
@Pam Roz, Don't blame the BOE. Blame his follow players who were there. For not speaking up and saying to the police at the time who was and wasn't there. The BOE did the right thing.
Jessica Brody March 20, 2012 at 03:55 PM
The best way to see if the NEW CODE of CONDUCT works is to test it right ? This past Saturday March 17, 6 Members of the Wayne Valley Softball Team were involved in automobile accident in Clifton. The driver was 17, the 5 passengers ranged in ages from 15 to 17. The vehicle had extensive damage, but only minor injuries were reported by the softball players. The real issue here is the code of conduct. New Jersey State Law prohibits more than 1 minor to be in a vehicle operated by a minor. Did all of the players violate the code, or does the driver assume full responsibility ? Accident was recorded by Clifton Police Department. Let's see if this is going to be a cover-up, or if any action will be taken by the BOE.
eyes wide shut March 20, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Jessica im confused by your statement..A car accident compared to an assault? One was an accident the other was intent to do harm..The accused in the assault by taking P.T.I and probation is an admission of guilt, no? Its just downgrading the charge so no trial is set....If the driver of the car is indeed wrong then im sure she will be fined, but NOT sent to court and possible trial...YOU are not really comparing apples to apples..
pam roz March 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Leanbrain: Huh??? These kids absolutely stated they weren't there!!! You think they didn't tell the police that??? The attorney advised in public in front of the BOE that his client had PASSED A POLYGRAPH TEST, proving he wasn't there. The BOE then allowed the kids to play and then flip flopped a week later because of negative public opinion. Don't blame the BOE??? Are you for real? How much BOE Koolaid have you been drinking? Get your fill now because the price will be skyrocketing very soon.
Jessica Brody March 20, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Eyes Wide: My point is the code extends to actions off the field. The driver knew she was breaking the law, and purposely involving other students in the process. According to the rules the player/ player's should be suspended from after school activities correct ? It would be bias to apply the rules for one infraction, and let the court make the decision regarding another. Breaking the law by allowing more than 1 minor in a vehicle is an intent to cause bodily injury. In this case, it's fortunate that the other passengers received only minor injuries, and YES the code of conduct rules apply to this matter because all of the occupants were part of the Wayne Valley Softball Team. This is in addition to the motor vehicle infractions handed down by the police and resolved in municipal court. If the accident resulted in serious injury or * , would that be enough to compare it assault ? Why does it have to go to that extent before an action is taken to eliminate the infraction from happening in the first place. Over-look this incident, and it will happen again.
Steven Rose March 20, 2012 at 06:03 PM
You really think missing 1 game has cost any of these kids college scholarships?
Joygarden March 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Pam, you really must be drinking the WH Kool-Aid. Do you actually believe ANY of those kids had the potential for receiving a $200,000 scholarship over 4 years?? There are no pro prospects on that team, except for perhaps Kevin Olsen, and we know HE was where he should have been - NOT at a party on a snowy, icy night, during a declared state of emergency, which means no one, especially kids, should have been out driving. That in itself shows poor judgement on the part of the parents, which then continued.
Joygarden March 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Jessica, I agree that the girls should not have been driving together. Period. Again, the parent is the ultimate responsible party. No matter how much you trust your child, things can happen, so you should try to avoid any potential for trouble, especially if you want to stay out of a court room, but more importantly, if you want kids to be safe. Having more than one other person in a vehicle is against the law at that age, but it is not an intent to cause harm. Also, the new policy probably won't be applicable in this case, because parents and students have not yet signed it.
pam roz March 20, 2012 at 08:10 PM
It really doesn't matter what I believe. It's what a jury will believe when presented with the case by an experienced attorney. Very short sighted move by the BOE, all ultimately at the taxpayers expense. Why do you think the adult in this case (who was innocent and I believe was wearing a sling with an arm injury at the time of the incident) took the PTI settlement? He was incapable of attacking anyone, but still didn't want to take a chance with a fickle jury.
Gordon Rizzuto March 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Pam it was the right decision by the board of education. Are you telling me that when you were a kid you have never heard Since I can't punish the kid who did it I'm going to punish everybody? And as far as punishing them stuff like that happens. When I was 18 somebody made a bad hit on me. It was a cheap shot I missed the next game because of it. Does it mean I should sue somebody? If there's anybody these kids should sue it's the kids that were guilty. If people came forward and admitted right away who was guilty and wasn't guilty then this wouldn't have ended the way it is. Think abotu the alternative of this. You let all 9 players play without there being discipline for the guilty ones something ALOT worse could happen next time. Point is it's over. The kid had his name cleared now he could move on. The only person these kids should blame are the ones that are guilty.
pam roz March 20, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Gordon: There were bigger implications and ramifications with this incident than simply a situation like I believe you are referring to. For example, a kid talking in class and the teacher keeping the entire class for detention. What was the harm in letting the legal system handle this? What makes you guys think the kids didn't admit right away who was involved? BTW: What if no one is guilty? A penalty has already been assessed and served. Sorry, completely wrong and short sighted decision by BOE.
Kit Rogers March 20, 2012 at 08:33 PM
So what about a kid who gets caught shoplifting????? Is that ok too since it is " not an intent to cause harm???". I happen to agree with a uniform code of conduct. To me it is similar to what we had before with the chain of command etc......btw. Springmsports are underway and I have not been given anything to sign,,,,,,,,,
Kit Rogers March 20, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Gordon,,,,,,I'm pretty sure they did,,,,,,no one in law enfo wanted to listen
Gordon Rizzuto March 20, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Think about this if Olsen sat them himself you think it would be justifiable for them to sue Olsen? No the coach can bench his players for any reason. He can bench them for talking back. Olsen reports to the board. In my opinion there is no difference between the board benching them and Olsen benching them. The harm in the legal system is that the system is corrupt. So Pam if all the kids that got suspended for an accusation got benched by Olsen are you saying they should sue too? To me the decision is pretty clear. You bench one sport for an accusation you bench all sports for an accusation.
pam roz March 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Gordon: I'm not saying that at all, but you do have quite an interesting opinion! Did you really think "There is no difference between the board benching them and Olsen benching them" It's Apples and Oranges. I guess that cheap shot you took was likely to the head because you seem to have lost any sense of reason, assuming you had it to begin with. Or, maybe the BOE Koolaid is a little more potent than we thought?
Gordon Rizzuto March 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Pam what is the difference between the board benching them and Olsen benching them?
WayneinWayne March 21, 2012 at 04:11 AM
so 7 juveniles sentenced to probation, 1 adult chooses PTI, 1 juvenile has case dismissed. QUITE different then the stories that the Olsen apologists were screaming a few months ago huh? we were told hat the police had it all wrong. seems they had it pretty close to perfect except for 1 . THE FACTS HAVE COME OUT and Olsen was WRONG.
Burin jones March 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM
No confidence vote for Olsen, the Wayne BOE and all those parents and former students who trotted up to the podium at the Town Meeting last Fall to voice their worthless opinions. Congrats, however, to the new management style exhibited by Dan P and the other BOE members by changing their positions more than most Indy car drivers. After watching this debacle, it's clear this town needs an enema.
Joe videodummy March 21, 2012 at 11:54 PM
All of this because a couple of motor-heads get they're hub caps knocked off.
still in town 78 March 22, 2012 at 02:32 AM
If Olsen had benched those players and the players had been found innocent the board and the administration would have abandoned himhim in a heart beat had he not suspended them and you wind up in the current situation. All in all its a no win for Olsen.
Kelly Lonigan March 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM
That's such a crock of BS. Coaches suspend players all the time and the board doesn't abandon thm. You don't have to be convicted of a crime to break a team rule
Fear the veer March 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM
To my fellow class of '78 alumni, far cry from the days of old where football wasn't the focal point of this pathetic, overtaxed, ill-run, flood ravaged piece of real estate we call home.
Al Scala March 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Olsen should be very careful as to what position he takes. Everybody feels it is a forgone conclusion that the pick is the AD,, which is the more intelligent selection. Unfortunately, we have a secretive, non transparent political board who is planning to eliminate the AD position in both Highschools. They want to create a new position and have one administrator to be the atheletic GURU here in town. If Olsen selects the AD position, he may be out of a job totally. Although, consolidating 2 positions into one makes sense economically, I think logistically this would be a disaster. But then again, Bob Ceberio and his Band of Trustees are good at that.
pam roz March 25, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Gordon: If you REALLY believe that there is no difference between the board benching them and Olsen benching them, then why the need to impose additional punishment on the Coach? We ALL KNOW that the decision to not allow AD's to also be coaches is a vindictive action against Olsen. And I again repeat my question to anyone and especially the BOE: Can someone please explain why this new Code of Conduct policy applies ONLY to athletes and not to ALL students?
WayneinWayne March 25, 2012 at 02:10 PM
So Pam roz, still in town , etc....why dont you tell us all the facts now since 8 of 9 have pleaded down their GUILTY convictions? You guys kept telling us the truth will come out and we should all shut up because we didnt have all the fatcs. well, all of the legal manuevering is over...WHAT ARE THE FACTS?
Gordon Rizzuto March 25, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Pam the board probably wanted to take action so it didn't happen again. I think the board new most likely Olsen would choose football coach.They obviously realized that Olsen was in an unfair position as both Football coach and Athletic Director. Not to mention considering he also has a son in the system that makes it an even more conflict of interest. Also they are not changing the game after the game has started they are making this change during the summer before a new school year. Also by the way Pam I guess you can tell Olsen that the kids weren't just guilty of being Wayne Hills football players.


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