Not all decisions can be based on established policies. Most situations have unique elements that require individual study and decisions appropriate to the particular circumstances. Nevertheless decisions should be made in light of policies that exist.
If a pending decision is not compatible with an established policy, it should be studied carefully to determine whether or not the specific circumstances merit special consideration.
In many instances, the director of physical education and athletics is put in an intermediary position between his or her immediate superior or an established policy on the one hand and the athletes and/or coaches on the other.
In such cases, decisions and actions will be strengthened by a firm policy and superiors who will back the director. Policies are often unpopular, but they are usually less objectionable than an arbitrary decision by one individual.
Executives responsible for athletic programs have a large number of difficult decisions to make. The eligibility of athletes, the recruitment practices of coaches, the interference by alumni, the emphasis on winning records, and the temptations to exploit athletes are potential trouble sports.
Thoughtfully prepared policies and conscientious adherence to them will help the athletic director avoid many pitfalls.
In all institutions, some control over decision making is necessary. Defining the purpose of an organization, ensuring that decisions are guided by reason, prescribing lines of authority, and establishing guidelines are ways of accomplishing this.