The CIAC office deals with any number of different issues and concerns over the course of the year, but when a particular issue comes to the forefront consistently it becomes a concern that the organization wants to address. In this case, the issue at hand is the CIAC out-of-season coaching rules and the frequency with which those rules either inadvertently or intentionally are broken. This message is intended as a reminder to be aware of the rules as the office has received an inordinate number of tips regarding possible violations in the out-of-season coaching realm.
Admittedly, the rules on out-of-season coaching are somewhat complicated and contain several exceptions, but in order to discuss this topic, let’s look at the primary portion of the rule. “Member schools may not permit their coaches to coach or instruct their member school athletes whose names appeared on the CIAC eligibility list for the sport in the preceding season and have CIAC eligibility remaining in the sport which they coach except under the exceptions listed in item 2.1.e. below.”
The exceptions do create complications in determining whether violations occurred or not, but the essence of the rule is simply that coaches are not supposed to work directly with eligible athletes from their teams out of season. Its aim is to help keep athletics in the proper perspective by allowing students space away from athletics when desired and to maintain equity between programs. Remaining in compliance means being familiar with the rule and the exceptions and understanding what is permitted.
More than ever the CIAC and its members are under scrutiny to prove it can responsibly enforce its rules and do so within the structure of a membership organization. This means being diligent about all CIAC rules and regulations going forward, and we count on our members to respect and abide by the rules as they exist. As always we appreciate the support of our membership in working to insure equitable and fair competition for all our schools and programs.