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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.

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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