The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) established its original Code of Ethics in 1987 to serve the following functions: allowing basketball coaches to maintain autonomy and establish guidelines for the protection of coaching; furthering the development of basketball coaching as a profession; ensuring that coaching will be carried out with the highest possible standards; informing member coaches of acceptable behavior in order to provide self-regulation of conduct; and reassuring the public that basketball coaches are deserving of public trust, confidence and support.
As the basketball landscape has evolved in the years since, so too has the visibility and influence of coaches. The conduct of coaches increasingly has the ability not only to shape the overall reputation of the profession, but of the game itself. The incentives to win at all costs have also never been higher, and will only continue to grow. Now more than ever, it is imperative that coaches at every level of the game reaffirm a commitment to ethical and lawful conduct. The internal and external standing of our profession and the health of our game are at stake.
The Code of Ethics of the basketball coaching profession sets forth the principles and standards of basketball coaching and represents the aspirations of all members of the NABC. Ethics are defined as principles for right action. These principles are not laws but standards, and are intended to guide basketball coaches individually and collectively in maintaining the highest professional level of ethical conduct.
- Coaches are accountable to the highest standard of honesty and integrity.
- Coaches treat all persons with dignity and respect, providing a model of fair play and sportsmanship.
- Coaches act in full accordance with all applicable all local, state and federal laws, and insist that student-athletes and staff under their direction do the same.
- Coaches act in full accordance with all applicable institutional, conference and national governing body rules, and insist that student-athletes and staff under their direction do the same.
- Coaches observe the letter and intent of the rules of the sport, and insist that student-athletes and staff under their direction do the same.
- Coaches recognize the value of an education, and establish an environment within their programs that prioritizes academic success and aligns with the educational mission of their institutions.
- Coaches have a primary concern for the health, safety and personal welfare of each student-athlete.
- Coaches serve as advocates for diversity at their institutions, and avoid any and all actions that may violate the civil rights of others.
- Coaches are responsible for assisting student-athletes in acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills of basketball, as well as promoting desirable personal and social traits in student-athletes under their direction.
- Coaches perform their duties on the basis of careful preparation, ensuring that their instruction is current and accurate. They use practices for which they are qualified and continually acquire new knowledge and skills.
- Coaches accurately represent the competence, training and experience of themselves and their colleagues.
- Coaches honor all professional relationships with student-athletes, colleagues, officials, media and the public. They avoid conflicts of interest and exploitation of those relationships, especially by outside parties.
- Coaches have an obligation to respect the confidentiality of information obtained from persons in the course of their work.
- Coaches carry out all obligations of employment contracts, unless released from those obligations by mutual agreement. When considering interruption or termination of service, appropriate notice is given.
The Code of Ethics will be provided to new members of the NABC during the membership application process. Additionally, the Code of Ethics will be re-distributed annually to all active members of the NABC.
The coaches of the colleges, universities, high schools and other institutions that are members of the NABC are also members of various governing bodies (NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, NHSBCA, etc.). The enforcement of a violation of the Code of Ethics will be executed by the rules, regulations and procedures of the governing bodies.