Dress code for athletes draws differing opinions

HHS athletes are not allowed to run without a shirt, sparking debate amongst some male runners who do not agree with the rule as they do not feel it applies to all sports.

The enforcement of the rule began last year when former athletic director Lisa Nakamatsu had to come and speak to the cross country team after some of the male runners were seen running without their shirts, junior Shelby Jennett and sophomore Teia Chou said.

Senior Julien Kehon does not agree with the dress code policy as he prefers running with his shirt off given certain weather conditions and sees other sports teams having different restrictions.

“We think it’s unfair because water polo is basically naked,” said Kehon.

However, Nakamatsu said the standard for the dress code for the sports teams is based on the appropriate uniform of their playing environment which is why different sport teams have different uniforms, as well as, regulations on how they should present themselves on campus.

The cross country coach Kendrick Seeley does empathize with his athletes because the hot whether can tempt athletes to not stick to the dress code.

“I can understand the frustration of our athletes,” Seely said. “We see other sports come out here like basketball in their preseason running without their shirts.”

The team will continue to abide by the rules as long as they are on campus and are happy with the season so far.

“We really haven’t had any issues with anything at this point and we are happy with how things are going,” Seely said.

Despite the differing views, Nakamatsu enforces the dress code on cross country and all sports teams because it is not a matter of wearing a shirt or not but more so to encourage professionalism.  

“You are representing the school,” Nakamatsu said. “And you want to look at the athlete for what they are contributing to the team.”