Policies & Procedures
This statement is intended to inform cheerleaders, dancers, and mascot (parents and prospective cheerleaders, dancers, and mascots) of the various policies of Tennessee Tech University Spirit Programs. In all policy and program matters, members of the Varsity cheerleading squad, Golden Girls dance team, and Awesome Eagle mascot, shall first be good law abiding citizens of the nation, state, and city, and secondly, shall be exemplary representatives of the university. These policies are as follows:
The TTU Spirit Program is a student activity. As a student activity, the first and foremost responsibility to the student is to support and not to comprise the student's academic career. Secondly, the program should aid in developing the student participant into a responsible, mature and independent adult. Specifically, the program is a means of improving the student’s mental and physical well being. The Spirit Program is an activity where the student:
- will receive leadership training.
- will develop the ability to make decisions.
- will enhance the ability to respond to life's situations, e.g. conflict,frustration, control of heat, anger and hate, win/loss, react without too much emotion
- will cultivate social skills, e.g. development of self-confidence, development of interpersonal relationships, and generally will maximize the opportunity for student growth, change and maturity.
The primary purpose of the Spirit member is to be a member of the team, which has as its goal the support of athletics and of the university. The support is directed into three major areas:
- to lead; to raise the level of fan support for intercollegiate athletics; to lead in positive, vocal support for the team; and to solicit that support from TTU fans and project that support to the university and its teams.
- to participate in the athletic activity known as cheerleading, dancing and skits by performing tumbling skills, partner stunts, motions, pyramids, and dance movements; to perfect this athletic activity for keeping the crowd attention focused on the field/floor where intercollegiate athletic activity is taking place; and to entertain and compete as an appropriate role model.
- to serve as public relations ambassadors of intercollegiate athletics and TTU; to uphold, reflect, and project the goals and ideals of the university; to appear at both university activities, functions, and programs, and charitable and public causes.
II. Organizational Structure
Tennessee Tech University has one varsity cheerleading squad. The gold squad members cheer for the TTU football team as well as the men's basketball teams. Generally there are 16 members on the squad: 8 male and 8 female. The purple squad members cheer all football games as well as women's basketball games. There are generally 12 members. Cheerleading at TTU is a student activity and, subsequently, is a part of the Student Affairs Division under Campus Recreation.
Tennessee Tech University has one dance team. The Golden Girl dance team members dance at TTU football games and TTU men's and women's basketball games. The Golden Girls will also work closely with the TTU Band and director and will be required to attend some of the band practices. The dance team at TTU is a student activity and, subsequently, is a part of the Student Affairs Division under Campus Recreation.
C. Mascot-Awesome Eagle
Tennessee Tech University has one mascot. Awesome Eagle will attend all TTU football games and TTU basketball men's and women's games. We will have two individuals who will split the requirements for Awesome Eagle. The Awesome Eagle Mascot at TTU is a student activity and, subsequently, is a part of the Student Affairs Division under Campus Recreation.
III. Scholarship Programs
A. Gold Squad-Cheer-in the form of cash or housing.
B. Purple Squad-Cheer-under review
C. Dance Team-under review
D. Mascot-in the form of cash or housing
A valuable education experience at TTU is travel. In most cases, an official college chaperone (the cheerleading coach or designee) will travel with the squad. The TTU cheerleading squad will travel to a small number of designated away games throughout the football and basketball seasons. The TTU cheerleading squad may also travel to additional cheerleading competitions throughout the season.
The primary emphasis of this policy focuses on the behavior of the cheerleaders when they travel as a representative of the University. At all times, cheerleaders' behavior shall be exemplary. Behavior which is loud, boisterous, rude, unrestrained, rough, rowdy, offensively harsh or discordant, unruly, etc., shall subject a cheerleader to discipline.
V. Involvement at Functions/Events
In addition to football and basketball games, practices, and pep rallies, cheerleaders, dancers & mascot will attend a number of public relations and / or charitable events each year. The coach and advisor must approve in advance all appearances by the cheerleaders.
Appearances shall be at places and events which are considered in good taste. The cheerleaders shall appear only at events/ activities which will reflect positively on them as individuals and as representatives of the University.
VI. Rules and Regulations
A. Tryouts-Cheerleading, Dance Team & Mascot
- Anyone wishing to tryout for cheerleading shall:
- attend clinic taught by current TTU cheerleaders.
- have a 2.0 grade point average (2.5 GPA effective January 2006).
- Only with special permission from the cheerleading coach and advisor can one tryout for TTU cheerleading after he / she has left the squad on a previous occasion.
- At least 16 cheerleaders will be chosen at tryouts on Gold squad, 12 on Purple, 12 dance team members, and 2 Awesome Eagles.
- Additional alternate members of the squad may be named by the coach and advisor for additional members.
- Tennessee Tech Spirit Programs are a time-consuming activity. Persons who have other serious commitments (other than academics) of their time such as a child, spouse, a 20 hour or more work week, etc., are strongly encouraged to discuss their commitment with the cheerleading coach before trying out for the squad.
- Cheerleaders, Dancers & Mascot shall:
- maintain a 2.0 grade point average (2.5 GPA effective January 2006)
- be enrolled as a full time student at Tennessee Tech University
- For justifiable reason(s), the coach may make an exception to rule B.1 b. above
- Spirit Members shall not consume alcoholic beverages while in uniform
- Without special permission of the coach, spirit members, while in uniform, shall not go into a place where alcoholic beverages are served.
- If funds are available and the squad attends a collegiate cheerleading, dance or mascot camp, every member of the squad shall attend.
- Each spirit member shall have a complete physical by a physician prior to attending the college camp at the end of the summer.
- Spirit Members are expected to work as a team. Individual members of the squad may be close friends. Squad members' friendship or non-friendship shall not have a negative effect on the team.
- Each spirit member is responsible for all the clothing, uniforms, equipment assigned to him/her. Care must be taken to insure such clothing, uniforms, and equipment is in a clean and presentable condition. Each squad member shall safeguard his/her clothing, uniforms, equipment, etc., and therefore be personally liable for its replacement for loss or damage, excluding normal wear and tear.
- Other rules concerning TTU cheerleaders may be promulgated verbally or in written form by the coach and / or advisor. Violation of these additional rules may result in disciplinary action.
- Violation of any spirit program rules shall subject the squad member to discipline. The coach and advisor, with consultation or advice from the school administrators, always levy final discipline.
- A serious violation of these rules or repeated violations shall result in suspension from the squad. A squad member may be suspended from the program one or more games due to the violations of these rules.
- These rules and regulations are subject to addition and change when found necessary or beneficial. The coach makes final acceptance of all rules. The squad member is required to abide by all rules / regulations set by the coach and advisor and the college’s student handbook.
- Cheerleaders, Dancers, & Mascot shall:
- attend all practices.
- Squad practice times:
Gold squad: Tuesday & Thursday 11am-1pm
Purple: Tuesday & Thursday 8-10 am
Golden Girls: Monday & Wednesday 3-5pm (Football) 1-3pm (Basketball)
- Tumble practices (Cheer only): 2 tumble classes per week (2 hours total)
- Agility and Flexibility training: 2 sessions per week (Cheerleaders & Dancers)
- Weight training: 2 sessions per week (Cheerleaders & Dancers)
- Practice schedule may be changed depending upon the availability of practice area and/or participation in a competition. Additional practice times may be added if felt necessary by the coach.
- DO not be tardy or absent from practice.
- DO notify the coach as soon as possible if he/she finds it impossible to attend practice or knows he / she is going to be tardy.
- DO give 150% at all practices, games, competitions, etc.
- DO not consume alcoholic beverages before a practice.
VI. Rules and Regulations Continued
- Spirit Members shall:
- attend all home football and men's and women's basketball games, required scrimmages, and /or special scheduled games or activities
- arrive at the game site 1 hour prior to kick off or tip off, unless the coach, or captain, designate an earlier or later time
- A captain or captains may be selected by a vote of the entire squad or at the coaches' and advisors' discretion.
- attend all home football and men's and women's basketball games, required scrimmages, and /or special scheduled games or activities
- Travel to away games will be in accordance with budget restrictions and the University rules and regulations
- The squad or a portion thereof will travel with a chaperone as a group and return as a group. If a cheerleader chooses to go to or leave from a game by other transportation, he /she give up his /her privilege to cheer at the game except in special cases, which will be determined by the coach and advisor.
- Final authority of all decisions made while traveling shall rest with the coach. Decisions shall consider the advice and consent of the captains and majority.
- Make appearances at certain community and school events (dates and times will be announced well in advance in order to rearrange personal/work readiness).
- National competition at various cheerleading/dance events will be contingent upon qualification and the coaches' evaluation of the team's readiness.
- Each member must NOT be tardy to any practices, games, or other scheduled events. For each minute you are tardy the squad member must run 1 mile. Three or more tardies equal one unexcused absence
- Absences must be approved in advance by the coach. Pre-approved events may be academic related, doctor's excuse, etc.
- An unexcused absence will terminate the right of the squad member to cheer at the next game. Three or more unexcused absences will result in dismissal from the squad.
Any illness or injury shall be reported to the coach and advisor immediately.
Any injury suffered during practices, games, or official functions will be treated by the University athletics trainers, and / or doctors. Initial expenses for such treatment shall be paid by the squad member's personal insurance.
If an injury or illness incapacitates a squad member, he / she shall not be permitted to practice and cheer for a period of time as determined by the trainer or doctor.
If a doctor recommends that a squad member should no longer cheer, due to injury or health problems, the squad member shall be removed from the squad. If chronic illness or injury causes a squad member to miss games or practices repeatedly, the squad member may be removed from the squad by the coach and advisor.
IX. Alcoholic Beverages/Drugs and Drug Testing
As stated earlier, cheerleaders are expected, first, to be good, law-abiding citizens of the nations, state, and city. This expectation is foremost when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Cheerleaders are reminded that as highly visible members of the University community, their actions and behaviors are under constant observation. Absolutely while in uniform, but also while not in uniform, cheerleaders are known, subject to scrutiny, and can easily be the object for criticism for their behaviors or actions, in particular, for over-indulging in alcoholic beverages. If a cheerleader finds him/herself in an uncomfortable situation for any reason, but especially because of alcoholic beverages, he /she should inform the coach as soon as possible.
Members of the squad she adhere the following rules:
- Spirit Members shall not possess or drink alcoholic beverages in a University car, van or bus.
- Spirit Members shall not consume alcoholic beverages before or during a game or a practice.
- Spirit Members shall not offer to procure alcoholic beverages for anyone under the age of 21.
- Spirit Members shall not attempt to coerce abstinent cheerleaders into drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Spirit Members who violate these rules shall be subject to disciplinary measures.
The University is committed to providing a safe healthy environment for the cheerleading program. Thus, conduct that involves the unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution or manufacturing of controlled substances by a cheerleader at any time will result in appropriate discipline up to termination from the cheer program. Similarly, the unlawful possession use, dispensation, distribution or manufacture of controlled substances by a cheerleader at any other time shall result in appropriate discipline, up to and including termination from the cheer program. Any sanction for such a violation outside of Spirit program functions / activities shall be made with consideration to the potential embarrassment or bad reflection on the cheer program, and / or the University. The legal use of prescribed medicines under the direction of a personal licensed physician is permitted.
Like all TTU athletes, members of the squad are subject to random drug testing; initial positive drug tests shall result in dismissal from the squad. Spirit Program members are expected to be good citizens, and therefore, carefully and faithfully abide by University rules and regulations and the laws and ordinances of the city or state in which they live or travel.
X. Health, Life-Style and Nutrition
The Spirit Program is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and eating habits for squad members. Conduct which opposes this philosophy or poses unacceptable risk and disregard for the health, safety and welfare of participants is in violation of this policy and will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination from the squad.
Spirit Program members at Tennessee Tech University must be excellent athletes. Cheerleading involves some aspects of several athletics activities such as rotation and tumbling of gymnastics, stamina of basketball, strength of bodybuilding or football, balance and movement of dance, etc.
Partner stunts are a primary activity of the TTU Cheerleaders. Pyramids are partner stunts combined vertically (in levels not to exceed two and a half human heights) and horizontally (side-by-side partner stunts). The nature of these activities demands certain general physical requirements of the cheerleader. The squad members must have sufficient strength to base pyramids and to lift, hold, throw and catch other squad members safely. Squad members must be of appropriate size and weight such that they can be lifted, held, thrown and caught safely. Squad members must demonstrate flexibility which is necessary in the athletic aspects of cheerleading.
Dance members must also be of appropriate size and weight such that they are able to perform the necessary turns, leaps, and additional technique.
All squad members are required to perform mandatory weight training and cardiovascular workouts outside of practice on an individual basis. The coach will design specific weight, agility and flexibility programs. The cheerleaders will be required to meet and maintain certain predetermined fitness requirements.