The Effectiveness of the Ethics Program of the NCAA

101 views 7 pages ~ 1720 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Ways in which the NCAA's ethics program failed to prevent the scandals at Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas

Ethics plays a fundamental role in enhancing compliance with various institutional policies and respect for humanity. Despite the development of the NCAA's ethics program to promote excellence and leadership which is realized through enacting policies regarding sporting activities and oversee the implementation. However, the effectiveness of NCAA's is in doubt because it also contributed to the occurrence of various scandals at Ohio State, Penn State, and the University of Arkansas. One of the primary measures the organization failed to execute to prevent to entirely combat scandals include hiring officials to work with the university games and ethics committee (Schlereth, Scott & Berman, 2014). Ultimately, such officers could advice the universities on ethical ways to handle issues, assist in the formulation of standards, and facilitate discovery of scandals in the initial stage.

The Pennsylvania State Scandal

First and foremost, the Penn State Scandal constituted sexual assault of eight young boys for an extended period by an assistant coach. The internal investigation revealed that the misconduct was committed but no action was taken by the school administration. The college primarily aimed at making more monetary gains from the sport as well as retaining its reputation. Negligence was evident when the head coach and the administration of State Football Department remained silent and focused on improving games to greater heights. Besides, these issues existed for long because NCAA's lack the machinery to keep a watch on how activities are conducted within the University. Consequently, it becomes difficult for the organization to gather evidence and impose appropriate fines to serve as examples to others.

The Ohio State Scandal

The Ohio State involved in a bartering scandal where the student-athletes were covered up by their coach. As a result, the team continued to participate in games for nine months before it was suspended. The culture apparently portrays that the punishments and fines put forth to reinforce compliance is not worth the benefits. Therefore, the misconduct at Ohio State could be combated through establishing stricter policies that could pain the University harder to promote self-reporting and monitoring.

The University of Arkansas Scandal

Lastly, the University of Arkansas conflict of interest scandal depicts that the principles and policies instituted by NCAA's lack reinforcement procedures to guide universities. For instance, its policies do not inform Universities on how to internally promote ethical compliance (Schlereth, Scott & Berman, 2014). Also, NCAA's rules failed to empower institutions to handle some issues related to misconduct; therefore, the University may choose to remain silent rather than raising a concern that would lead to further investigation and fines.

Methods in which the leadership of the NCAA contributed to the ethical violations of Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas

It is imperative for the management to involve all stakeholders to ameliorate compliance. Hence, the three scandals show the weaknesses in the leadership of NCAA which inherently contributed to the ethical violations. To start with, the sex scandal at Penn State could be handled proactively if the management could have communicated the rules, policies, and procedures to the universities and other stakeholders. Apparently, the disclosure of the criminal issue to the organization could still amount to penalties rather than assisting the university overrun the challenge. In this case, the leadership failed to define the roles of the University Sporting Department and the body in relation to enhancing ethical compliance (Mo & Shi, 2016). On the other hand, the leadership for NCAA should be blamed for ethical violations committed at Ohio State University. It is apparent that contravention of NCAA provisions by student-athlete was covered by the coach not only to benefit the University but also to avoid attracting further investigation by the organization. Therefore, this explicitly depicts lack of collaboration between NCAA's leaders and sporting administration. Ultimately, the University developed a negative perception of the organization hence failing to institute appropriate mechanisms to reinforce compliance among the players.

The University of Arkansas Scandal - The Leadership's Role

Moreover, leadership plunders at NCAA influenced Bobby Petrino of the University of Arkansas from disclosing the conflict of interest while hiring a former student. Nevertheless, the leadership had not established apt procedures that could have been followed by the coach to handle the problem effectively. Notably, NCAA could rapidly educate the sports department on the potential instances that might be experienced and methods to employ to prevent ethical violation (Mo & Shi, 2016). Therefore, the leaders should be blamed for lack of communication and cooperation with Universities to enhance conformance.

Key differences in the scenarios that occurred at Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas if an effective ethics program was in place

Undeniably, if there were effective ethics program, consequences of the scandals in all the universities could have been different. Firstly, the Penn State should have developed a mandatory ethical reporting policy to ensure criminal matters are well explained to the stakeholders. An appropriate program would trigger further investigation once the allegations were raised in 1998 which could eventually reinforce conformity. In Ohio State, it was evident that the players and coaches lacked a profound understanding of ethical policies enacted by NCAA (Schlereth et al., 2014). Perhaps, not all players had knowledge that NCAA's rules and policies prohibit bartering and accepting benefits from boosters. However, this rule is mostly violated by players; therefore, the outcome could be different if the University had a policy that compels coaches and players to sign a code of ethics. Consequently, no one could contravene because such commitments influence individuals to always behave morally. For the case of Arkansas, the results could be different if the University had detailed policies governing the hiring of State employees. Such regulations would ensure legal and ethical imperatives are considered during the recruitment. Therefore, for Penn State, violations occurred because of the poor leadership whereas, for Ohio State, non-conformity to the standards was as a result of lack of enforcement in the internal ethical policies.

Actions that the NCAA leadership should take in order to regain the trust and confidence of students and stakeholders

To regain trust among the stakeholders and students, the leadership of NCAA should improve communication process to ensure its policies are understood. Consistent communication will be realized through holding seminars with sporting departments for universities across the country (Walumbwa, Morrison & Christensen, 2012). Fundamentally, enhanced communication will provide the opportunity for sharing ideas on how to formulate and implement internal policies regarding codes of ethics. Developing open communication channels will also inspire the Universities to inquire about their roles. Additionally, NCAA should develop an implementation plan to guide institutions that participate in the athletic program (Walumbwa et al., 2012). For instance, it ought to advice these organizations to compel players and employees to sign a code of ethics during recruitment. Effective implementation of this strategy will ensure that coaches and students observe all ethical standards laid down by the institution as well as that enacted by NCAA. The approach will caution students on the fundamental rules to consider in protecting the organization from potential fines and punishment.

Measures that the HR departments of colleges and universities should take to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future

The human resource department plays a crucial role in preventing the occurrence of such instances in the College and Universities. The first measure includes identify organizational ethical climate and hire or educate employees who can reinforce NCAA's ethical premises. A formal evaluation of the culture, values, and standards of conduct will assist the department to identify various gaps that need to be filled. Therefore, this approach will ensure the right workers are recruited or enlightened on how to initiate and promote the development of a corporate culture (Christopher, Paul & Badejo, 2012). Secondly, the human resource should create ethical code of standards and compel students and employees to sign before being allowed to join the institution. Couching of a strong code of ethics will promote the establishment of an independent committee to monitor the level of compliance among the students and employees. With the fact that most activities conducted by the human resource aim to ameliorate compliance to legal and moral imperatives and further enhance sustainability and effectiveness; therefore, developing most appropriate strategies will ensure the Universities avert such problems. For instance, conducting regular training and sensitization on the importance of ethics in every endeavor will probably promote compliance. Consequently, the universities will achieve a self-sustaining structure that promotes conformance to ethical principles.

The role of NCAA in promoting ethical compliance

In conclusion, NCAA has been instrumental in ensuring Universities observe ethical postulation while participating in sports. Some of its mandates in ensuring Universities and players understand implications of different violations could be developing a syllabus on the same issue and collaborate with various stakeholders to enhance success. Fines and penalties alone may not guarantee realization of NCAA's objectives because Universities might cover up these violations to continue reaping benefits from sports. However, its effectiveness has been hindered by poor leadership and lack of cooperation with stakeholders. All scandals that were reported could be averted if extra measures were embraced to boost reinforcements (Christopher et al., 2012). Ethics is fundamental in the organization; therefore, it is up to the human resource department to promote internal compliance through encouraging the development of a strong corporate culture that supports conformance. Ultimately, the organization will be in a position to curb the occurrence of such instances discussed in the case study.



Christopher, C., Paul, O., & Badejo, A. (2012). Promoting Ethical Human Resource

Management Practices in Work Organizations in Nigeria: Roles of HR Professionals. International Journal Of Human Resource Studies, 2(2), 116.

Mo, S., & Shi, J. (2016). The Voice Link: A Moderated Mediation Model of How Ethical

 Leadership Affects Individual Task Performance. Journal Of Business Ethics.

Schlereth, N., Scott, D., & Berman, S. (2014). The Current State of Corporate Social

Responsibility Behavior in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division-I Athletic Departments. Journal Of Physical Education And Sports Management, 1(2).

Walumbwa, F., Morrison, E., & Christensen, A. (2012). Ethical leadership and group in-role

performance: The mediating roles of group conscientiousness and group voice. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5), 953-964.

January 19, 2024

Corporations Management

Subject area:

Company Leadership Ethics

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Ethics
Verified writer

I enjoyed every bit of working with Krypto for three business tasks that I needed to complete. Zero plagiarism and great sources that are always fresh. My professor loves the job! Recommended if you need to keep things unique!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro

Similar Categories