NABC Code of Ethics

Preliminary Statement

The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the professional organization for coaches of men's basketball teams in the United States, is taking a strong leadership position at this time to develop a code of ethical conduct. Moreover, the immense popularity of basketball, advanced levels of competition and the public pressure on both coaches and athletes suggest quite clearly the need and importance of an ethical code. A Code of Ethics can act as a professional guideline in gaining and maintaining the respect and confidence of athletes, other coaches and the public, as well as providing each basketball coach with the incentive to conduct himself in a highly ethical manner. A Code of Ethics has the potential to serve the following functions:

  1. Allow basketball coaches to maintain autonomy and establish guidelines for the protection of coaching.
  2. Further the development of basketball coaching as a profession.
  3. Insure that coaching will be carried out with the highest possible standards.
  4. Inform member coaches of acceptable behavior in order to provide self-regulation of conduct.
  5. Reassure the public that basketball coaches are deserving of public trust, confidence and support.


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.


  1. Coaches are accountable to the highest standard of honesty and integrity. All practices should be consistent with the rules of the game and the educational purposes of the institution.
  2. Coaches are responsible for assisting athletes in acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills of basketball as well as promoting desirable personal and social traits in athletes under their direction.
  3. Coaches treat all persons with dignity and respect providing a model of fair play and sportsmanship.
  4. Coaches observe the letter and intent of the rules of the sport and insist that athletes and teams under their direction do the same.
  5. Coaches clarify in advance and act in full accordance with institutional, conference and nationally governing body rules while avoiding actions that may violate the legal and/or civil rights of others.
  6. Coaches have a primary concern for the health, safety and personal welfare of each athlete. The athlete's education is also held foremost.
  7. 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.
  8. Coaches accurately represent the competence, training and experience of themselves and their colleagues.
  9. Coaches honor all professional relationships with athletes, colleagues, officials, media and the public. They avoid conflicts of interest and exploitation of those relationships, especially by outside parties.
  10. Coaches have an obligation to respect the confidentiality of information obtained from persons in the course of their work.
  11. Coaches take an active role in the prevention and treatment of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse.
  12. 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 used as a condition of membership in the National Association of Basketball Coaches. All members will be provided a copy of the Code as a part of the membership application. To qualify for membership, an application must sign a statement acknowledging having read the Code and subscribing to the principles of the Code.


The coaches of the colleges, universities and institutions that are members of the NABC are also members of governing organizations for those schools (NJCAA, NAIA and NCAA). The enforcement of a violation of the Code of Ethics will be executed by the rules, regulations and procedures of the governing organization.