Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 38

38

CHAPTER 2

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Legal Considerations and Administration

These dangers might include tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or unreasonable emotional
stress. Likewise, if a member of the sports medicine team is aware that another person
is placing an athlete's health or well-being in danger, he or she should immediately,
yet tactfully, bring such behavior to the attention of people who can help remedy the
situation. The administration should have policies to protect those who come forth
with information on possible violations. Each school should set up a plan to use the
resources available, such as guidance counselors and school psychologist, in mediating and resolving these types of issues. The athletes must feel comfortable going to
these professionals with problems.
Although the decision to report breaches of conduct is relatively easy to make
when someone's safety is clearly at stake, it may be harder to break a confidence if
it seems as if no one is being hurt by the violation. Furthermore, close relationships
may develop between athletic trainers and athletes, and it may be tempting to feign
ignorance, but the rules exist to protect all interested parties. Make it easier on yourself by remembering that it is not a matter of deciding; regulations require reporting
all breaches of conduct. Behaviors that do not conform to the rules can cause all
sorts of damage. For example, if an athlete is caught gambling on games, he or she
may face suspension and possible expulsion from the team-perhaps even the sport.
Gambling is not only unsporting conduct, it is illegal and must not be tolerated.
This behavior not only damages athletes' reputations but also that of the institution
for which they play. The team, school, or organization could be fined, penalized, or
have sanctions placed against it because of the actions of one player. Any such activity must be reported to the administration immediately. Different ruling bodies may
have varying regulations; thus, what is prohibited by the National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) may not be the same ban or result in the same consequence as
outlined by the authority of the state high school. In the gambling example, not only
is the behavior in violation of NCAA rules subject to penalty, it is also illegal and may
lead to criminal prosecution.
Initiation rituals are another concern when considering appropriate behavior. An
athletic trainer might witness or hear about various hazing rituals and initiation rites
for new team members. Whereas some initiation rituals are harmless and allowable,
others are not. Hazing of any kind is not allowed. If the coach or any of the sports
medicine team is aware of any type of hazing, it must be reported. If you are aware of
hazing and you do not report it, you may become liable for the actions not reported.
To protect the athletes, adopt a zero-tolerance policy for any rituals that involve unhealthy acts, controlled substances, or illegal activities. This policy means that any
initiation ritual that involves a risk to a person's health and well-being is strictly prohibited. The consequences of such infractions can be very serious; student athletes
have even died as a result of poor judgment in this area. As a result, any infractions
of this rule must be reported to the administration.

legAl reSponSIBIlItIeS
As already discussed, the athletic trainers' and sports medicine professionals' first
duty is to act as an athlete's advocate. The complex process of deciding and acting in
the best interest of the athlete, while also addressing the concerns of the rest of the
sports medicine team, can be one of the most demanding aspects of being an athletic
trainer. Each member of the sports medicine team has a different role to play, and
although the safety of the athlete is the main objective of each member, the fact that
each person has a different set of responsibilities brings a variety of perspectives to a



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e

Contents
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover1
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover2
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - A
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - B
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - i
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - ii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - iii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - iv
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Contents
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - vi
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - vii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - viii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - ix
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - x
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xi
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xiii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xiv
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xv
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Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xvii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xviii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xix
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xx
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 1
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 2
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 3
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 4
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 5
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Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover4
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