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Athletics Launches New RCP System

By Jeanne Acton, Journalism Director | Tuesday, September 09, 2014 12:00 PM

Change is hard.

Athletic Director Dr. Mark Cousins is experiencing this firsthand. He and his staff launched a new and improved online Rules Compliance Program system this summer, and while the move will be much better for coaches and administrators in the long run, it doesn’t change the fact that a new system needs an adjustment period.

To his staff who is fielding hundreds of calls and emails from coaches and administrators needing assistance, Cousins describes the new RCP system like this: “It’s short-term pain for long-term gain.”

The long-term gain will mean better communication, efficient training programs and a more interactive system.

Cousins said the impetus to move to the new system started last year when he was informed that UT was going to discontinue the main frame system which ran the former RCP.

“We also were interested in creating a more interactive system – where we could communicate with our coaches more directly,” he said.

This system promises that better communication and “better opportunities for our coaches to be in compliance,” Cousins said.
And being in compliance needs to be a priority for Texas coaches.

“These trainings are not just a UIL requirement,” Cousins said. “Some are state law. It is extremely important for coaches to be in compliance.”

The UIL Rules Compliance Program (RCP), an annual requirement for all junior high and high school coaches, is an online educational course offered as a “one-stop shop” to ensure that coaches are prepared for the school year. It covers UIL policy, state law and sportsmanship content through various online modules, including written text and videotape, as well as audio media.

Like any new system, the RCP system has had a few kinks. The UIL athletic administrators have been inundated with calls regarding the system login, but “once our coaches are in the system, everything is working,” Cousins said. “The system is easy to navigate and complete training.”

More than 33,000 coaches and athletic administrators have already scheduled more than 160,000 training sessions.

One benefit of the new system will be the ability to communicate more efficiently with coaches across the state. Cousins said the system will allow his staff to send more targeted emails to particular groups of coaches and/or all coaches across the state.

“If we want to send an email to 2A tennis coaches in Region I, we will be able to do that,” he said. “Or we can send a mass email to all coaches.”

Another advantage of the new system is that it allows allows a person to log-on and off as their schedule demands.

Cousins said if coaches or adminstrators have questions, concerns or ideas for improving the system, he and his staff are “happy to listen.” He encourages coaches to contact the athletic staff through emails.