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Publish date: Oct 24, 2011

NCAA Division III and NASPA Partner on Alcohol/ Drug Education

A new partnership between NCAA Division III and NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education will promote an integrated model for on-campus collaborations among student affairs and athletics professionals and provide resources to deliver effective alcohol and drug education for the well-being and success of all students.

NASPA will serve as the subject matter expert through its Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Knowledge Community. The program provides an institutionalized and ongoing structure within NASPA to discuss issues around alcohol and drug abuse through the sharing of ideas, programs and results, and the organization of events at regional and national meetings.

The partnership will help NCAA coaches and student-athletes better understand the impact of substance use through the development of a customizable alcohol and drug education resource for the approximately 450 active and provisional member institutions in NCAA Division III. The resource will include curriculum based on specific institutional needs and will be inclusive of a campus’s diverse populations, such as coaches, student-athletes, student affairs and the general student body.

Resources will be available to campuses in the form of a pilot program starting as early as September 2012.

“The NCAA and NASPA community have a common interest in providing individual campuses with resources to meet local needs,” said Dr. Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of Membership Services and Academic Affairs and chief inclusion officer. “Through this collaboration we hope to build an even closer relationship between athletics and student affairs by encouraging athletic departments to engage the expertise of student affairs and by empowering student affairs administrators to understand the unique culture of athletics.” 

“It is widely recognized that the abuse of alcohol and other drugs by college students is one of the leading impediments to college success,” said Dr. Kevin Kruger, NASPA associate executive director. “Given that college athletes comprise about 20 percent of the student body at Division III campuses, this collaboration between NASPA and the NCAA is both timely and significant. There is no doubt that developing a comprehensive approach to alcohol and other drug abuse prevention that includes all students is critical to the success of any program.”

After a two-year drug testing pilot study, Division III will continue to conduct drug testing at championships, but it will not devote resources to support drug testing models at individual institutions and conferences. Instead, the division will focus on its education program through effectively partnering with the student-affairs community, recognizing and leveraging the key role coaches play in influencing behavior of student-athletes and prioritizing alcohol abuse education within the new framework.  

“With a large segment of the Division III student body being student-athletes, and with close to one-half of Division III athletics directors reporting to student affairs, this partnership is an opportunity to enhance the comprehensive educational experience of all Division III students and student-athletes,” said Dan Dutcher, NCAA vice president for Division III. 

Currently, the NCAA offers a variety of resources for members to provide alcohol and other drug abuse education to student-athletes. These include the CHOICES grant, which provides funding for NCAA member institutions and conferences to integrate athletics into campus-wide efforts to reduce alcohol abuse. They also include the APPLE conferences, which empower teams of student- athletes and administrators to create an institution-specific action plan dedicated to substance abuse prevention and health promotion. These programs will continue to be offered to the membership.