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Student-Athlete Handbook

2009-10 Edition

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Congratulations on being a member of an intercollegiate athletics team at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. This student-athlete handbook has been developed for you to provide pertinent information about the intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It is our hope that this information will answer many questions that you may have as a UWEC student-athlete and help ensure that you have a positive student-athlete experience. It is the responsibility of each student-athlete to read and understand all the information contained in this handbook. The Athletic Director should be contacted if assistance in interpreting this information is necessary.


The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire intercollegiate athletics program provides services in concert with the mission of the university and the underlying mission of Student Services. These are best characterized by the goal of accessibility.

The athletics program mission is to be accessible to students of all skills, abilities and interests, and to provide an extra-curricular environment which will enrich learning and personal growth. In providing this learning environment, the program places emphasis on the academic success of student-athletes, the fair and equitable treatment of women and men, the principles of fair play and amateur athletics competition and the health and welfare of student-athletes.


The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire fields intercollegiate teams in football, women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, women's volleyball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics, wrestling, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's swimming and diving, women's softball and men's and women's indoor and outdoor track. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletics teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) and the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA)

The Blugold athletics teams utilize a number of on-campus and other public and private venues for practice and competition. The McPhee Phy Ed Center serves as the headquarters for the athletics program. Zorn Arena is also used on campus as are the Bollinger Fields. Carson Park and the Hobbs Ice Center are two city-owned venues that also serve our teams as well the Eau Claire Country Club, Mill Run Golf Course, Wild Ridge Golf Course and Whitetail Golf Course.


As a member of an athletics team at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire you are expected to do the following:

  1. Represent the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with exemplary behavior (See WIAC Bylaw Article 10 Ethical Conduct/Sportsmanlike Behavior).
  2. Maintain eligibility
    1. Academic-with regard to GPA, class load, and credits earned (per WIAC Bylaw Article 13).
    2. Medical-annual physical or medical screening, current medical history, and proof of insurance per NCAA requirements.
  3. Follow policies and procedures concerning conflicts between classes and practices and contests.
  4. Assume responsibility for assigned equipment. Lost items will be billed to the athlete.
  5. Participate in coach and program evaluations.
  6. Follow Athletics Department and specific team rules and policies.
  7. Attend all informational meetings and eligibility meetings with the Athletics Director or designee.<
  8. Follow guidelines on conditioning and injury care as recommended by the athletics training staff.


  1. Medical: Before a student-athlete can participate in any practice or competition they must submit the following items to the athletics trainer:
    • An annual pre-participation sports physical completed by a licensed physician (for freshmen and new transfers) or a medical screening completed by the training staff and cooperating physicians (sophomore year and beyond).
    • A completed medical history form
    • Current health insurance information indicating liability minimum of $90,000
  2. General: To be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics practices and competition, a student-athlete must meet the requirements listed in each of the following areas.
    1. Full-time Enrollment: Must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours (withdrawing to below 12 credits will result in immediate ineligibility). You must see your coach or the athletics director before withdrawing from any class during the semester.
    2. Good-Academic Standing: Must maintain good academic standing at UWEC which means a 2.00 resident cumulative GPA once the student-athlete has competed one season, attended two fulltime terms or accumulated 24 credits. Student-athletes may compete if placed on academic warning or probation but are leading themselves toward academic suspension which will curtail their athletics participation.
    3. Satisfactory Progress: Must maintain satisfactory progress towards their degree. Satisfactory progress is maintained by being allowed to register and enroll for 12 credits in each succeeding semester.
    4. Four Seasons/10 Semester Rule: A student-athlete is allowed four seasons of participation in an intercollegiate sport. A student-athlete is charged with a season of competition if he/she appears for even one second in a contest or practices with a team after its first scheduled competition of the season. Student-athletes must complete their four seasons of eligibility during the first 10 semesters in which they are enrolled on a full-time basis.
    5. NCAA Student-Athlete Statement & Drug-Testing Consent Form: Each student-athlete must read and sign the NCAA Student-Athlete Statement and Drug-Testing Consent forms which will be administered by the athletics director.


There may be a situation or circumstance for which a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student-athlete would consider transferring to another institution. In such an instance, the student-athlete should discuss a transfer with his/her head coach before contacting or being contacted by another institution. NCAA rules require that another institution must request permission from UW-Eau Claire before being able to contact a current UW-Eau Claire student-athlete unless the UW-Eau Claire student-athlete completes and sends a self-release form which is available from www.NCAA.org.

NCAA rules in some circumstances require a one year residency at the new institution before an athlete is eligible to participate in athletics. In transfers from one Division III school to another Division III school, the residency requirement may be waived if the student-athlete would have been eligible to participate at the institution from which he/she was transferring. WIAC rules also require a one-year residency if the student-athlete has used two seasons of eligibility at the same WIAC institution.


The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire believes that our student-athletes are students first and that academic commitments will in most cases have priority over athletic activities. Student-athletes are expected to attend classes and adhere to the attendance policy outlined by their professors.

Practices: Classes always have priority over any practice session. In cases when a practice is scheduled at the same time that a class is scheduled, the student-athlete must attend class.

Contests: When a student-athlete is required to miss a class to attend an athletics contest, he/she should not be penalized for this absence. However, it is the responsibility of the student-athlete to notify each instructor in advance of the absence, to make necessary arrangements for missed assignments, quizzes and exams and to seek ways to compensate for the missed class content. There will be some instances (e.g. guest lectures, field trips, etc.) where it will be imperative that the student-athlete attend the class rather than attend the athletics contest. Returning home late after an away contest is not an acceptable excuse for missing a class the following morning.

Academic Monitoring: One of the most important goals of the athletics staff at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is to see every student-athlete graduate. In order to assist in the transition from high school to college, the athletics staff, in partnership with the faculty, will be monitoring the academic status of each student-athlete regularly during the year. Both formal (mid-semester progress reports) and informal (e-mail, phone calls) means will be used. All information gathered by the Athletics Department regarding a student-athlete's academic progress will be kept strictly confidential.


Times: The coaching staff will make every effort to schedule practices at times that will allow the most team members to attend and this may result in different practice times on different days of the week. When necessary practices may be scheduled early mornings or late evenings. By NCAA rule, athletes cannot skip class to attend a practice if there is a time conflict. Athletes must attend class in such a situation. When classes are in session, teams may not practice more than 6 days in a one-week cycle. The off-day may be at the beginning, the end, or any time during the week in question.

Pre-Season/Early Returns: In order to provide the proper time to condition and prepare for contests, it is often necessary for our student-athletes to return to campus prior to the return times for the general student population. In such cases, the coaches will work with the housing office and food service relative to dorm and meal accommodations.


The university's athletics teams typically travel to and from intercollegiate contests in charter buses or the school's fleet vehicles. Only 25-year-old, college-approved drivers will be allowed to drive a school van. All drivers are responsible for any traffic infractions they may commit. Should a situation arise that requires a student-athlete to drive their own vehicle, the student-athlete's parent(s) must advise the Athletics Director that they are aware of the situation and approve of the student-athlete driving on their own.

Dress Code: All University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletes and members of the travel party are expected to dress in a manner that represents the university in a positive way. Coaches may have specific dress requirements for their team members.

Meals: The university provides a meal allowance for all members of the team when the trip distance results in a missed meal. The coach is responsible for securing receipts for all meal expenses and for staying within budget limitations. When possible, coaches will arrange to have meals provided from the food service.

Conduct: All members of the travel party are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner during travel and at the site of the contest. The supervising athletics staff member is responsible for enforcing appropriate conduct.

Alcohol/Tobacco/Drugs: No alcohol, tobacco (including chew), or illegal drugs are permitted by student-athletes, coaches, or any other member of the travel party throughout the duration of any athletic trip per NCAA and WIAC policy.

Safety: Coaches and other approved drivers must follow safe driving practices at all times while transporting student-athletes. When more than one vehicle is required, the vehicles should remain in sight of each other throughout the trip.

When overnight lodging is involved, student-athletes are not permitted to leave the hotel unless they are with a member of the coaching staff or have received permission from the coaching staff to do so.

All student-athletes are required to travel with the team to and from all athletics contests. Permission may be granted by the head coach to allow a student-athlete to travel to or from a contest with a family member. If a student-athlete will be driving his or her own car to or from an athletics contest, the student-athlete must obtain and sign the proper waiver form and a parent must contact the athletics director (by phone or e-mail) indicating knowledge of and consent for the student-athlete to drive his or her own vehicle. Parental consent is also necessary if a student-athlete will be a passenger in a vehicle other than a family member. This waiver form may be obtained from the athletics office.


The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has a full time certified athletic trainer on staff. A certified athletic trainer is a well-trained professional who specializes in athletic health care. Specifically the certified athletic trainer is responsible for prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has a training room fully equipped with the necessary modalities and equipment used for the treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. These modalities include a whirlpool, hydrocollator, and muscle stimulator/ultrasound units.

The athletic trainer maintains a current medical file on all student-athletes. Student-athletes are not allowed to participate in any sports until this file includes an annual pre-participation medical exam from a licensed physician, a complete medical history, and medical insurance coverage information.

Preventative Treatments:
If a student-athlete requires taping or other treatment before practices or contests,
he/she should report to the athletic trainer's office early enough to allow for this treatment prior to the start of practice. Some treatments may require a special appointment with the trainer.

Intercollegiate Athletics Injury:
In the event that an athlete should be injured, the following steps should be followed:

  1. The athlete must notify both the coach and the athletic trainer when an injury occurs. If the injury occurs away from campus the athlete should report it to the athletic trainer as soon as possible.
  2. After the athletic trainer assesses the injury, the athlete will be released for participation, prescribed a treatment/rehab program, or referred for further medical care.
  3. An athlete cannot return to practice or competition until they have been released by the athletic trainer or if appropriate, the attending physician.
  4. If further medical care is required, the athletic trainer will make all referrals. The UWEC athletics program does not have health insurance coverage for its student-athletes. The student-athletes must have their own or be covered through their parent(s)'s policy.
  5. A claim for coverage of medical treatment must be submitted to the athletic trainer and they will facilitate submitting the claim (see insurance section below).
  6. Athletes must follow the athletic trainer's directions for athletic injuries including any prescribed treatment/rehab program.


All student-athletes must have medical insurance coverage. A student health insurance plan with the athletics rider is available through UWEC and provides coverage for athletics injuries. It is important that the athletics rider is purchased to supplement the basic policy.

If a student-athlete has no primary coverage, he/she will be required to sign up for the student policy. You must have some type of medical insurance with a minimum coverage of $90,000 before you will be allowed to practice with a team.

Claims: The following steps should be taken to insure claims are processed expediently:

  1. After being referred by the athletic trainer, the student-athlete should seek medical treatment as soon as possible in accordance with procedures defined by their primary insurance coverage.
  2. The student-athlete should submit the cost of this treatment to their insurance provider.


The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, also known as SAAC, is comprised of two members from each of the 20 intercollegiate varsity teams plus the athletic training students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The committee members discuss the concerns and ideas that the student-athletes have about the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletics program and work to make improvements. The group also coordinates a variety of community service projects in which all teams participate.


Multi-Sport Athletes: The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire encourages multi-sport participation by student-athletes who have the skills and desire to play more than one intercollegiate sport. Multi-sport athletes are required to follow these guidelines:

  1. An athlete participating during the regular season of a sport will not be required to participate in pre-season activities of the next sport if their time frame should overlap. Athletes wishing to participate in these pre-season activities may do so only after receiving permission from their current season coach.
  2. Traditional seasons of a sport always take priority over any non-traditional season of another sport.

Equipment: Student-athletes have access to a variety of training and athletics equipment and are asked to see a member of the athletics staff about equipment check-out procedures. Student-athletes are responsible for any equipment that they check out.

Sportsman-like Conduct: The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire expects sportsman-like conduct of all our student-athletes at all practices and athletic contests. Unsportsman-like behavior will not be tolerated in any form and will result in disciplinary action.


The State of Wisconsin requires that persons be 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages. The athletics program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has a responsibility to promote the health and well-being of our student-athletes. In view of the fact that alcohol consumption has been proven to be detrimental to general health, academic and athletic performance, we encourage student-athletes to exercise self-discipline and self-awareness in their alcohol consumption. We strongly recommend that student-athletes of legal age (21 in Wisconsin) refrain from alcohol consumption during their season. Underage drinking is against the law. All student-athletes are subject to State of Wisconsin legal sanctions as well as standards of conduct and University sanctions concerning illicit drugs and alcohol as outlined in the UWEC Student Services and Standards Handbook. Coaches in consultation with athletics administration may have more restrictive team policies ranging from community service to dismissal from the team.

The athletics program prohibits the use of any tobacco product by student-athletes during any team function (practice, game, trips), and by all student-athletes in the McPhee Phy Ed Center and at the athletic fields. The use of chewing tobacco is a violation of NCAA and WIAC policy and will result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from the team.

Possession or use of any illegal drug by any student-athletes is strictly prohibited.
For further information about the university's Alcohol and Drug policy, please refer to the Student Handbook.


Students involved with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletics program are strictly prohibited from engaging in any type of hazing activity. Wisconsin Statute 948.51 (1) on hazing or "forced activity" means any activity which is a condition of initiation or admission into or affiliation with an organization, regardless of a student's willingness to participate in the activity. Hazing also includes any action taken or situation created intentionally, whether on or off-campus, that produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. This includes any action that endangers the health or well-being of an individual, is personally degrading, has an adverse effect on the academic performance of the student, or which violates any federal, state or local statute or University policy. Individual or group consent to hazing activity in no way validates the activity or excludes those perpetuating it from being charged with a crime.

Individual student-athletes who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action which could include community service up to and including dismissal from the team. The Wisconsin Statute on Hazing, 948.51, is available at: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/stats.html, the University Library and the Student Development and Diversity Office.

Examples of activities or situations that could meet the definition of hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Keeping the date of initiation/induction a secret; requiring signatures for initiation
  • "Kidnapping" any member, leaving members stranded in a remote location to find their way home, or scavenger/treasure hunts
  • Any form of forced physical activity and/or exercise, whether extreme or not (i.e. push-ups, sit-ups, or other calisthenics, runs, walks, etc.)
  • Physical harassment such as paddling, hitting, beating, slapping, pushing, or striking
  • Marking or branding
  • Personal servitude of any kind (i.e. phone duty, cleaning, yard work, doing errands, etc.)
  • Forcing or encouraging ingesting of any type of liquid or solid matter, edible or non-edible (i.e. alcohol, chewing tobacco, goldfish, raw onions, spoiled food, dirt, etc.)
  • Requiring the carrying of any item around campus such as paddles, rocks, books, shields, etc.
  • Requiring the wearing of unusual, embarrassing or uncomfortable clothing
  • Sleep deprivation or requiring/encouraging anyone to sleep anywhere other than their own residence or bed
  • Preventing personal hygiene, communication with certain groups, and/or restricting places that new members can go on campus or in the community
  • Verbal abuse such as yelling or screaming or labeling with silly or embarrassing nicknames
  • Any activity that interferes with a student's academic pursuits (class attendance, studying, etc.)
  • Requiring or suggesting that members vandalize, destroy or steal property or commit crimes
  • Requiring anything of one group of members that is not required of another


In addition to the rules and policies outlined in this handbook, each team may have specific rules that pertain to its members. These rules may include required dress codes, stricter alcohol policies, mandatory team study sessions, and curfews.

"The UWEC Athletics Program is committed to the core values of Diversity and Inclusivity where a culture of respect is the norm. This culture is expected in the actions of everyone (staff and student-athletes) involved with the program ensuring that respect and equitable participation is fostered for our student-athletes."

While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, the university reserves the right to change, without notice, statements in this Student-Athlete Handbook, the Student Handbook, University Catalogue and other publications concerning rules, policies, fees and other matters. In cases where a discrepancy in information exists between various university publications, the information contained in the Student Handbook or College Catalogue will prevail.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Athletics • McPhee 208 • Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

Phone: (715) 836-3062
Questions/Comments: UW-Eau Claire Sports Information