University of Houston-Victoria
Policies

Athletic Program Travel

SECTION: Travel Index: F-9
SUBJECT: Athletic Program Travel

POLICY

The UHV Athletic Director is responsible for the use of available transportation, lodging, and meals of athletic teams in the most responsible and cost-effective way. For each intercollegiate team that travels, the Athletic Director may designate a coach or other staff member as the responsible party for submitting travel documents for each trip. Other than the specific exceptions provided for within this policy, Athletic Program Team Travel and non-team related employee travel, must comply with UHV Administrative Policies and Procedures including Travel Policies, F-1, F-2, F-5 and F-6 that all employees follow.

Athletic Team Travel is a form of Student Travel and the requirements and recommendations in UHV Policy F-3, Student Travel, for vehicle drivers and student passengers should be followed except where this policy is more restrictive.

All athletic team programs are subject to the terms and conditions of this policy, including:

  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Golf
  • Softball; and
  • Any other team program subsequently added to the UHV Intercollegiate Athletics Program

The Athletic Director shall be responsible for overall administration of this policy and shall insure that this policy and procedures is communicated to coaches, trainers and other key staff.

DEFINITIONS

Team Travel Group – The team travel group is defined by the Athletic Director for intercollegiate events. The travel group, in addition to team members may include coaches, managers, trainers, the Athletic Director, security personnel, the bus driver (when transport is by UHV owned bus) and essential volunteers. The Athletic Director may authorize team travel for other personnel not listed above if the Athletic Director believes inclusion is essential to the traveling team.

Department Travel Coordinator/Cash Custodian – The Athletic Department shall assign employee travel arrangements, including airfare, lodging and rental car reservations, to a designated Department Travel Coordinator. The Coordinator will also be the primary contact between the department and travel-related staff in the Finance Department. In addition to any athletic coordinating duties, this person may also be assigned Cash Custodian responsibilities to receive, monitor, and safeguard cash received or maintained for athletic team travel purposes.

Per Diem Cash – Per Diem cash is defined as U.S. currency distributed to coaches, staff members and student athletes, for daily meal expense while traveling to out of town locations for the purpose of participating in athletic competition.

Guests – Guests are defined as non-employees/non-volunteers who have a business purpose for traveling (e.g. donor or sponsor cultivation/appreciation). Travel with the team must be approved by the Athletic Director and limited to a maximum of seven (7) guests per trip. The university is not responsible for guest travel costs (hotels, meals, etc.) unless authorized by the Athletic Director.

Volunteers – Volunteers are defined as non-paid workers whose services are considered essential to the traveling team and who have been approved by the Athletic Director or designee. For insurance purposes, all volunteers must be signed up as volunteers with the department of athletics prior to traveling with the team.

Responsible University Official (RUO) – For purposes of this document, the Coach, Trainer, Trip Coordinator, Athletic Director, Assistant Athletic Director or other designated staff member accompanying the student athletes and responsible for overseeing the team travel activity.

PROCEDURES

National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics Rules (NAIA)

All travel related expenses by student team athletes will be governed by rules for travel, meals and lodging expenses as published in the NAIA handbook. Generally, only actual expenses of travel, meals and lodging are permitted by NAIA policy for student athletes and the Athletics Department must use NAIA travel partners unless an exception is granted by the travel partner. Where NAIA guidance is silent, this policy and relevant UHV policy shall prevail. (References)

Travel Authorization, Arrangements and Approvals

All Team Travel for seasonal and post-season travel must be pre-approved by the Athletic Director or Assistant Athletic Director Designee. All team travel arrangements for away contests are itemized, trip-by-trip, during the budget process. Coaches are expected to remain within the established budget for each trip.

Generally, travel arrangements include: Completing travel request paperwork; arranging for lodging, airfare, buses, shuttles and team meals; developing the team travel itinerary, obtaining team travel per-diem (UHV Policy B-16), maintaining detailed original receipts and preparing any travel reimbursement vouchers. (References)

Team Travel Cards

To facilitate athletic team travel, the University provides for the issuance of Gas Cards for fuel expenses, Travel Cards for hotel, airfare, vehicle rentals, and chartered bus expenses and ProCards for other appropriate travel expenses associated with away events. These cards are available to coaches and staff as deemed necessary by the Athletic Director and are intended to pay for the majority of expenses (i.e. hotels, airfare, chartered bus, meals, and incidental expenses) during team travel.

Travel Request Form

In accordance with UHV Travel Policies, travel for each trip (this includes athletic team travel) must be completed and approved on a Travel Request form. The Travel Request form will be used for record keeping purposes since the travel request information will include the name of each traveler, the dates of travel for competition, mode of travel, destination and the purpose of the trip. Since team travel arrangements are sometimes made before the team roster is finalized, individual names or a roster are not required for team Travel Requests. However, a final list of team members and others actually attending must be attached to the Travel Request as backup for travel card expense reports or travel reimbursements for team travel. Each team travel request must be signed and approved by the Athletic Director; additional approvals of the President or Vice President, however, are not required for out-of-state travel. Without an approved Travel Request, travel is not authorized and insurance coverage is not provided. The approved travel request must be attached to the Travel Card expense reports.

Early in the academic year, once the team travel schedules haves been established, one Travel Request will be prepared for each competition.

Team Travel Reimbursement

If any team travel expenses are paid out-of-pocket, (i.e. not paid by a university fuel card, travel card or ProCard) a Travel Expense Report form should be prepared following the trip detailing the actual expenses to be reimbursed. Receipts and other documentation must be attached as supporting documentation to the travel voucher and electronically submitted to Finance for review and processing. Receipts must be itemized and clearly show that the expense has been paid (zero balance due) and whether paid directly by the university or not. If a receipt does not clearly show that the expense has been paid, then proof of payment, such as a credit card receipt/statement or cancelled check must be attached as additional supporting documentation.

Release of Liability Waivers

Student Athlete Waiver – Student athletes travel to or from a competition either accompanying the team or not with the team must have a signed Release and Indemnification Agreement on file. The Release must be approved prior to travel by the Athletic Director or designee.

Volunteer/Guests Waiver – Non-student/non-employee individuals traveling with the team (unpaid volunteers, guests, etc.) must also have a signed Release and Indemnification Agreement on file and have prior approval of the Athletic Director or designee. (References)

Blanket release agreements are acceptable in certain situations such as reoccurring related travel; however, an annual blanket release agreement cannot extend past the fiscal year end of August 31.

The Department Travel Coordinator will ensure that the release agreements are properly completed and will maintain them as part of a system of recordkeeping for student travel for the department including identity of travelers, dates of travel, mode of travel, destination, and purpose of travel.

Travel Roster and Emergency Contact Information

Each person traveling with the team must be listed on the travel roster by name and purpose of travel for each competition. The coach and trainer shall each carry an updated copy of the travel roster for each competition. The Athletic Department shall maintain complete and accurate emergency contact information for each student athlete as well as telephone contact number (cell) of coaching staff and other official staff members traveling with the team for each competition. It is the responsibility of the Athletic Director to insure that player and staff emergency contact information is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Should an incident occur, i.e. accident, mechanical failure, medical emergency, code of conduct violation, etc., the responsible university official overseeing the activity must notify the Athletic Director or Assistant Athletic Director as soon as feasibly possible. The Director should contact the UHV Campus Police Department Office and Student Affairs Office if appropriate.

MODES OF TRANSPORTATION

The mode of transportation is selected by the Athletic Director. When choosing a mode of transportation, the following factors should be considered: Safety, distance, number of travel days and impact on academics, number in travel party, availability of transportation, expediency and overall expense and budget.

AIR TRAVEL

- Commercial airlines are an acceptable means of travel to minimize the number of class and study days missed for competitions over (6) six hours or 350 miles one way.

Athletic Program Team travel is not restricted to the use of the State of Texas contracted travel provider.

The Athletic Director, at his/her discretion, should choose the most cost effective air travel provider considering safety, the impact on academics, expediency of travel arrangements considering the travel situation at hand.

Air Charter Service – The use of air charter services (renting the entire plane) are subject to the approval of the Athletic Director but require a standard or other UHV approved contract to insure that liability and other safety concerns have been met. Coordinate air charter service agreements through Contract Administration, Business Services. Minimum insurance coverages and other requirements should be obtained from the UHS Risk Management Department.

BUSES

Motor Coach Common Carriers – may be used to transport to away venues, transport to hotels from airports and transport from hotels to playing venues. Drivers must have a valid and approved CDL.

Mini-Buses – Defined as 20-30 passenger transports, acceptable mini-buses may be either institution or commercially owned. Driver must have a valid and approved CDL for purposes of this policy.

Charter Buses (renting the entire bus) - may be used as transport to and from away venues, transport to hotels from airports and transport from hotels to playing venues when time, funds and distance permit. A standard or other approved contract with the bus provider is required to insure that liability coverage and other concerns have been met. Coordinate contract requirements with Contract Administration, Business Services, allowing adequate lead time for contract execution. Coordinate minimum insurance and other liability requirements with the Campus Risk Management Department. Business Services shall maintain Certificates of Insurance on file. Note: the purchase of individual tickets on a public bus or shuttle does not require a contract because the entire bus is not being rented.

TEAM TRAVEL BY VEHICLE

University Travel Cards and Gas Cards may be used for rental vehicles and fuel expenses for team travel, however, the University does not currently maintain a fleet of vehicles for the general use of all employees. The vehicles that are owned by the university are assigned to specific departments where the need for vehicle access is a necessary requirement for daily operations.

Whether a university owned, leased or rental vehicle is used for travel:

  • Drivers must be employees (managers, coaches, etc.). At no time are student-athletes permitted to drive vehicles utilized for team travel.
  • Drivers must have prior approval of the Athletic Director.
  • Drivers must meet Acceptable Driver Standards described in UHV Policy F-2, Business Use of Vehicles. (References)
  • For trips that exceed 350 miles one-way, there should be two qualified university approved drivers available during the trip if possible.
  • Drivers must take a short break every two hours and/or rotate drivers when possible. A second driver or passenger should ride in the front passenger seat and remain awake at all times to help the driver maintain alertness.
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times by all occupants.
  • Teams must spend an additional night if they are unable to return to campus before midnight on the day of return. Team Driving is not recommended between the hours of 12AM and 6AM.
  • Rental Vehicles –
  • Contact the local State of Texas contracted provider to request rental vehicles, providing them with the dates and types of vehicles needed.
    • High Profile Vehicles –
    • High profile vehicles are vehicles with a high center of gravity, including pickup trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles. They are a particular safety concern because they are more susceptible to rollover accidents than most vehicles.
    • All drivers of high profile vehicles must successfully complete a safety course for high profile vehicles. Contact the Safety and Risk Management Department, Business Services for more information.
    • The use of 15-passenger vans for university activities is prohibited. 15-passenger vans are of particular safety concern as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been publishing advisories regarding these vans with multiple fatality accidents attributed to the use of these vehicles.
    • If smaller passenger vans are used, the number of passengers traveling in a van shall not exceed the manufactures rated passenger and load capacity. Equipment and baggage must not obstruct the driver’s vision in any way.

USE OF PERSONAL VEHICLES BY STUDENTS

The use of personal vehicles by student athletes for travel to out-of-town games and events covered by this policy is prohibited Students, however, may drive themselves to in-town games and practices, whether on or off campus. Student athletes who drive their privately owned vehicles assume responsibility for the liability for themselves and any passengers traveling in their vehicle. The student’s personal auto insurance will be primary at all times when the student uses their personal vehicle for University travel activities.

Students driving privately owned vehicles within the U.S. must have a valid Texas or other state driver license and possess personal automobile insurance coverage as mandated by the state of Texas, and their vehicles must have a current state inspection and registration.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND RECRUITING TRAVEL

All athletic department employees are reminded per university policy that the least expensive method of travel should be used whenever possible. Athletic department staff must adhere to the same travel requirements as other university employees with the following exception:

For recruitment purposes, Coaches may rent cars using university Travel Cards and university Fuel Cards for rental vehicle fuel purchases. Coaches may also be reimbursed for the actual cost of rental and fuel expenses.

Athletic department employee conference related travel expenses will be reimbursed according to procedures described in F-1, Reimbursement of Travel and F-6, Conference Registration Fees. (References)

HOTELS

Booking Procedures

  • Soccer/Baseball/Softball Travel: Contact the hotel booking company that the NAIA and/or Red River Athletic Conference has partnered with and provide them with the travel dates, destinations and number and types of rooms required.
  • Golf Team Travel: Because of the small number of rooms needed and the days traveled, the Athletic Department is permitted to book rooms directly rather than through the NAIA and/or RRAC booking partner.
  • Other: The NAIA and/or RRAC Booking Partner may grant booking exceptions where a minimum isn’t met, and permit the Athletic Department to book the most cost efficient lodging arrangements.
  • As a general guideline, no more than four (4) student athletes may be assigned to a room, two per bed. Circumstances may occasionally arise in which more than four to a room will be authorized.
  • Double occupancy is reserved for coaches, trainers and volunteers except in situations where travel circumstances and/or gender dictate other arrangements.

Room Occupancy

DAILY MEAL EXPENSES

Meals may be purchased for the Team Travel Group at the discretion of the Athletic Director or Coach/Staff Member designated by the Athletic Director as the responsible party for the trip. Discretion must be used to stay within the budgetary constraints of the trip. If, as a part of a game guarantee or entry fee, the host team provides breakfast, lunch or dinner to the Team Travel Group, or if a lodging establishment provides a meal, it is not permissible to provide an additional meal or meal allowance.

The following options are available:

Option 1: Generally, daily meal expenses for student athletes, coaches and staff members traveling for competition are paid using the UHV ProCard. The coach may purchase team meals on his/her ProCard. However, in doing so, the cash per diem will be forfeited for that day of travel. Itemized receipts are required for meals purchased with a university procurement card.

Option 2: Student athletes traveling off campus for school athletic events are eligible for per diem cash funds as requested by the Athletic Director for daily meal expenses for student athletes, coaches and staff members. Procedures for issuance of athletic program per diem cash must comply with UHV Policy B-16, Athletic Program Per Diem. (References)

TEAM ENTERTAINMENT EXCEPTION

The Director of Athletics or his/her designee is authorized to approve reasonable expenditures for team entertainment when the team is involved in home and away competitions when circumstances are justified, however such expenses should be infrequent in occurrence. This authorization includes approval for team members and those traveling with the team as members of the official Team Travel Group. All approved entertainment expenditures must be paid directly by the Athletics department from unrestricted donor funds and justification must be provided at the time of reimbursement. Per Diem funds and Student Service funds cannot be used for entertainment expenses.

TRAVEL ADVANCES

Other than requesting Per Diem Cash funds for meals as provided for in policy B-16, no other types of cash travel advances are authorized.

POST SEASON GAMES TRAVEL EXCEPTION

As a condition of NAIA post-season game competition, the UHV team must use the NAIA designated travel partner and their selected host hotel. Under certain circumstances, NAIA may make an exception to this booking requirement and allow the Athletic Department to arrange travel directly.

REIMBURSEMENT FOR BUSINESS EXPENSES PAID BY PERSONAL FUNDS

Reimbursements for business expenses paid by personal funds are governed by University policy B-9, Entertainment and Reimbursement of other Business Related Expenses. (References)

REQUESTS FOR EXCEPTIONS

Requests for exceptions not authorized within this policy must be submitted in advance to the Vice President of Administration and Finance and Comptroller for their review. Written approval by the VPAF is required.

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Charges for Goods or Services in Violation of Policy – The University will not be responsible for any charges for goods or services that are violations of university policy. In such instances, the expense will be the responsibility of the individual who placed the order.
  2. Alcohol Purchases – No funds controlled by the Department of Athletics may be spent for the purchase of alcohol while on team travel activities.
  3. Travel Dress Codes - As representatives of the university and the athletic program, staff and student athletes are expected to present and conduct themselves in a respectable manner. The Athletic Director is responsible for establishing the dress code for teams while traveling; the coaches are responsible for enforcing the dress code.

REFERENCES

Travel Request Form

SAM 01.C.04, Reporting/Investigating Fraudulent Acts

UHV Institutional Compliance website

UHV Policy F-1, Reimbursement of Travel

UHV Policy F-2, Business Use of Vehicles

UHV Policy F-3, Student Travel

UHV Policy F-5, Travel Arrangements

UHV Policy F-6, Conference Registration Fees

NAIA Official and Policy Handbook

UHV Policy B-2, Business Use of Vehicles

UHV Policy B-6, Cash Funds and Cash Handling

UHV Policy B-9, Entertainment and Reimbursement

UHV Policy B-16, Athletic Program Per Diem

Student Athlete Per Diem Request (Attachment A)

Per Diem Cash Receipt Form (Attachment B)

Release and Indemnification Agreement

Approved:

Signature Obtained__________ 10/3/17

Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph.D.  Date
President

Originating Department: Athletics
Next Review Date: August 2020 (3 years)