STUDENT-ATHLETE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
(Wednesday, June 11, 10:45 a.m. -Noon)
First of all, I would like to go through a little history of how I arrived here and why I am up here talking to you today. We also invited a special guest, Junior Bridgeman from the L.A. Clippers and President of the Players' Association of the NBA.
I worked for eight years in Madison General's Alcohol Drug Treatment Program. In 1981, I was
approached by the University of Wisconsin to lecture on alcohol and drugs to all of their athletes. I had a really nice title on my door. After the first home football weekend the title said, "Ron
Heitzinger, Coordinator of Drug and Alcohol Education, University of Wisconsin." The next Monday I
had 17 phone calls at the University of Wisconsin, wondering why we were lecturing to our athletes on
drug and alcohol. That very next week my title changed from Coordinator of Drug and Alcohol Education to Coordinator of Student-Athlete Assistance Programs. That's what we are going to talk about.
One of the things we saw happening when we first started talking about alcohol and drugs back in
1981 was the media jumping on the topic very quickly, only seeing it as a crisis situation. As we have seen over the last five years, any day you pick up a paper, there will be at least one article about
alcohol and drugs pertaining to athletes. In 1982 I was hired by another institution; I snuck into that institution to do drug and alcohol education with their staff. Later that afternoon, we had representatives from ABC, CBS, NBC and all the local newspapers. The first question they asked was,"Is the crisis at this university as bad as everybody thinks it is? Here they are setting up a preventative educational program." The next day we picked up the paper and saw headlines not only in their sports sections, but in the major sections of the paper, such as "Drug Fighters Arrive at This University." I think we have grown over the last two or three years, to see that it has taken this metamorphosis to talk about these topics at the major-college level.
I started working with Major League Baseball teams back in 1982. After doing an assessment for an individual on one of the first teams I worked with, I was basically told, "Thank you for the assessment," I was paid and I was fired. Two weeks later that indiviual was put in as manager of that team. As we
look at these types of situations over the last four years we are feeling more comfortable talking about them. One of the things we see happening is that society has given us permission to talk about these topics in an open way. As we start to talk about and delve more into student assistance programs, you
are going to see that the program itself really deals with approximately 50 percent of the referrals tied up with alcohol and drugs. The other 50 percent deal with all the other topics that are really causing problems in a student-athlete's life, be it family relationships; relationships with the team, with the coach, with their own lives; eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia; sexual problems, same-sex relation- ships or whatever. We have dealt with all those issues with our student-athletes.
There are five basic parts to a Student-Athlete Assistance Program (SAAP). I want to walk through them with you and basically give you an idea of what they are. When we get done, and when Junior gets done talking, we are going to open ourselves up to questions.
The first major part that we see is getting support for your program. That means getting not only administrative support from the athletic director, but going back to the president or vice president of student affairs at your university and advertising the fact that you are going to put this together. As an example, you should realize that a typical quality educational program on the major-college level costs between $10,000 and $15,000, and a quality drug testing and drug screening program costs between $17,000 and $50,000.
Right now, as we work with major companies acrose the country in setting up employee assistance programs, they are finding that for every dollar they put in for prevention they are getting three or four dollars back out of that program. Understandably, we have been called into many situations across the country where there have been crisis situations with national headlines. We went into those places and people told us outright the cost of this program is going to help us guarantee our alumni that we are doing things on this topic.
When you look at putiting anywhere from $20,000 to $70,000 into quality programs, you are not only setting up programs for your student-athletes. You are also going to see in the second year, as we did at the University of Wisconsin, an employee assistance program for all of your staff. We just went through a major crisis at the University of Wisconsin with the death of our football coach. We met not
only four times with the student-athletes, but twice with the staff. They are also going through stressful periods of their life and are in situations they have to deal with, not only with their jobs but with their families also.
You are going to see that these are health programs. These are not punitive-outcome programs. If you are over age 35 in this audience you are probably very unknowledgeable about drugs as a whole; your kids know more about drugs than you do. When we set up programs with the parents of students across the
country and talk about this, if you don't have accurate information your kids are going to beat you to
these topics because of it. This same type of relationship exists with the sports teams, where the athletes know more about drugs than the coaches, than the administrative staff. If you come in and set up a
punitive program to either do drug testing or to announce very punitive outcomes, all you are going to do is drive it underground. You are going to give permission to those people to become smarter than you are, and they are going to start to use and cover up for each other because of that.
Once you elicit the support of your administrative staff and really get the funding that is accurate to set up a program, the second thing you do is find a small group within your university and athletic program, which we label as a core committee. That core committee is usually comprised of student trainers, two or three representatives, all your regular trainers, all your academic counseling staff,
two or three different coaches, two administrative staff, your head team physician, a representative from your counseling center, and a representative from your community on the topic of counseling.
That group goes through an intensive, four-day workshop that we take to that college. Now, manyof you have said, "How can we ever get this group together for four days?" We do training sessions at two o'clock in the afternoon, ten o'clock at night, we set up different times to accommodate, so that people can still do their jobs. We can even come in on weekends to try and get this education done. As we
leave an institution, we want that group to be educated enough to deal with student-athletes as referrals on the different topics we will be talking about. They are not experts per se, but they become catalysts for change. They give permission to these student-athletes to come in and talk about these topics in a confidential way. Many times in the first year I set up the program at the Univeristy of Wisconsin, I would have an athlete sitting in my office talking on a topic. All of a sudden his or her coach would come by and see that athlete in my office and come in and ask me why that student-athlete was there. That's confidential, that's between that athlete and myself or the other staff people in our program.
What we want those people's permission to do is share and talk so that it is not going to be seen as
a loss of scholarship, being kicked off the team, something negative happening to the athlete because they are dealing with a situation in their life. Too many times in our society we hold our athletes up inappropriately on pedestals, and want to believe that they don't have personal problems. As soon as we find out they have personal problems, we see it as a contradiction. All of a sudden they are not the superstar that we have seen or believe or made them to be. Now they have the everyday problems that we have in terms of dealing with situations in our lives.
After the core committee goes through that intensive four-day workshop, they go through personal
issues in their own lives and a lot of situations that they have to be knowledgeable about on the topics
of alcohol and drugs and other types of situations. We then interface them with community representatives from different treatment programs and from the university itself in terms of the ~ealth center and the counseling center. They get to meet these people, who they are going to be dealing with during the year to make referrals of athletes who have problems that they can't work out in one or two sessions.
Through this process, then, tentacles are formed from the athletic department back to the community and also back to the university, to show the people that they are dealing with these topics in an appropriate way. After that group is educated, in terms of that intensive four-day workshop, we also encourage them to pick up a topic that they see they can be a little more knowledgeable on. You may have members who go out and get additional information on eating disorders, or on specific drugs like marijuana or cocaine, which are the major drugs of choice after alcohol in a college setting. Then when those topics are brought up, they can bring more materials in dealing with them.
Once you have set up the administrative support and you have developed that training, then you
develop your materials. We have manuals that go out to all the core committee members and coaches of the institution. We also put out as examples brochures and handbooks that are accessible to you up here afterwards, so that you can see copies of those for your information. Brochures go out to all the student-athletes listing the core committee members. One of our high schools came up with a perforated wallet-size card that they put in the brochure, for the athletes to put in their wallets or purses with phone numbers of different people to call in an emergency situation at any time. After we worked with Clemson University they put theirs on a laminated card that looked exactly like a credit card, with very high quality. People can call those people from the core committee anytime on any type of crisis situation.
Materials development is the biggest stumbling block in developing a program at a major college, because people hate to do paperwork. You don't have to re-invent the wheel with paperwork, because we have all the policies and procedures, all the referral outlets, and all types of written materials for forms, whether they are for punitive outcomes for drug testing or for breaking laws. That packet of information is distributed to all the coaches, and then they start to see if they want to be part of that core committee.
After development of the written materials you will see the core committee expand through
other agencies and bring those materials in for athletes in different sessions. The second year at the University of Wisconsin we brought a doctor in because I had a referral for a young woman athlete who
came in originally referred to me because of a drinking situation, but who then told me she was throwing up after eating. I had never heard of that before; if you look back to 1982, that's when all the crisis of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia began. After we referred her to nutrition classes, we evenually referred her in for counseling. We brought a doctor and went into training sessions with all our female teams on the topic of eating disorders. We had 53 referrals the second year, and we
put 28 young women into treatment for anorexia and bulimia. The teams that we found these problems on
were cross-country, track, swimming and gymnastics. When you look at that kind of experience, we can go to any major college across the country and probably see these topics existing there, too. The program is not just alcohol- and drug-related; it has all of these different topic areas, and you expand as you move along.
The fourth important area that you have to deal with is education. There have been many misconceptions about education across the country. When I first came out of treatment, having worked eight years with hard-core alcoholics and drug addicts, and was doing sessions in college and high schools, my first statement to the students and athletes was "Alcohol is bad. Drugs are bad. They are going to ruin you. Hear how they are going to ruin your life or your family's life." I would have 10 or 12 people in that audience sitting there thinking, "This guy is lying to me. I used drugs last night. I got high, I felt good and I had a good time. This guy is lying to me."
What you have to do in education is show that there are periods of life where experimentation with drugs, recreational use is off-limits because they are athletes. Then what you do is set up a program that attacks the issues of use and abuse. Every major college we go into we use a 20 percent figure:
20 percent of your athletes right now are using drugs. Five percent of that 20 percent figure are what we call fence-sitters. Their choice to use drugs exists when they go to a party and somebody has some dope or other drugs there, and they are swayed because they trust somebody at that party, a teammate
or a friend. They don't buy it themselves, the only time they use is because somebody has it and it is a party situation.
Five percent more people are what we call social recreatit>nal users. Those are the people who choose to want to use marijuana, they choose to want to use drugs on Friday or Saturday night. They may have purchased small quantities, they may have gotten it free from an alumni, or they may have gotten it
free from other teamma~es. By the way, back in 1981 we made a big misconception at the University of Wisconsin. We really believed that athletes couldn't afford cocaine because of the expense of it, but then we found out our athletes were using because it was being given to them by alumni. These were people who were hangers-on, who wanted to ingratiate the athletes. We had three athletes who came up
and gave me a minimum of two grams, which is about $200 or $250 apiece, my first year at the University of Wisconsin, and it was given to them by alumni. So, when you have to do your education, you will see you are going to have to educate your alumni on this topic, too.
The third five percent group will be the abuse users. They are the people who have chosen to use drugs in their life and who are really using in inappropriate ways. They are the people who are poor practice players. They are the people who have nagging injuries you can't put a finger on and who the trainers are sitting down. Their grades are going down in school. They are making choices not to go to school, to use drugs instead. They have found the magical effects of drugs, and they are interrupting
a lot of different areas of their life.
The fourth group of five percent are the hard-core users. This exists in society as a whole, also. I don't care if you set up drug testing programs. I don't care if you bring sniff dogs in. I don't care if you put in undercover cops, that five percent will always use drugs. Those are the people
you are going to have to put in for treatment. Those are the people who, if you set up drug testing programs even as an example, you are going to have to put through two or three times of positive
results before they realize that they are going to be kicked off the team or will lose their scholarship because of using drugs. When we go into major businesses we get the same figure. There is going to be a certain segment of our population that, without a doubt, will choose to want to use drugs, no matter what we do.
The last stage of an appropriate athlete assistance program is your referral outlets. The NCAA,
besides passing legislation for drug testing at championship sites this next year, also passed a resolution about permission to help athletes on the topic of drugs. Treatment is very costly. A typical person
going through treatment could cost in the range of $5,000 to $7,000 for a 21-to-28 day stay. I really encourage all of you to go to your insurance carriers and find out if you can have riders put on your insurance to include alcohol, drug and marginal issues. If you start putting eight to ten people through treatment, you are going to see that it adds up very quickly, based on $10,000 apiece.
What we also say is that it is a choice on your part. If you are doing drug testing, you are going to find athletes who are having problems and you are going to send them for help. What happens if you have athletes who don't have the ability to pay for that help? That is where you are going to have to look again at student insurance. Almost every type of university has insurance policies that students
can purchase at the beginning of the year, that covers these topical areas. So you have to become innovative if you are looking at a cost factor when you are setting up your programs. When you go back and build up the referral outlets, we really recommend that if you find a treatment agency that you wish to work with, you invite that person to make a presentation to the core committee and then start sitting in on those monthly meetings with the core committee.
If you look at a total program in those five parts, we will tell you that it takes three years to develop a good program. Why have we arrived at three years? First of all, minimally it takes three
years to graduate out and "grandfather out" all of your sophomores, juniors and seniors who are telling your freshmen right now, "No that's not how it is at this university. This is how it is. This is what
we do in recruiting, this is what we do at frat parties and this is what we do on the road," When you look at three years, you are really setting up a whole new population of people coming in who know that you have a student-athletes' program and who know what the punitive outcomes are for breaking any of the rules.
Let's take a few minutes and talk specifically about drug testing. I have been coming to the NACDA Convention for the last three years, and I have heard many speakers come up here and talk on the drug
topic like I am today. Every year it has been said, "you better start doing something, because we are
on the verge of a lot of problems in college athletics." With the NCAA passing legislation for testing at championship sites, you are going to get a lot of national publicity as soon as you start getting positives at those sites,
The greatest injustice that could happen to any sports teams is trusting your athletes, sending them
to a championship and not having a testing program at your school. They are going to go there and all of a sudden they are going to show positive and they are going to be sent home. What is going to take away from involvement in that championship event is headlines related to that person's alcohol or drug positive result, instead of what is really going on at that championship event.
A typical random drug testing program,where not even everybody goes though it, costs around $17,000
for about loo athletes at a major university. When we look at the cost factor, it is going to multiply because the NCAA is going to be looking for steroids, mainly. You could get a whole panel of tests, including marijuana, cocaine, uppers, downers and everything, for about $20 to $30. A typical test for steroids costs anywhere from $75 to $100. So, when you take a typical football team and you are going to test loo football players for steroids, you can see that could result in $7,500 to $10,000 on one test.
We recommend that you go through a process of screening out certain position areas and call that random screening. You also listen to the rumor bank and start looking at your strength coaches doing more education on the topic of steroids. Our percentages show that four percent of college athletes have tried steroids. Understandably, the majority of that four percent will be football players or track stars.
Tied up with your testing programs you should also put together appropriate forms and written materials, and send out letters. Many of our institutions now send out letters during the summertime, saying, "We are going to test all of you athletes coming back. Marijuana is not water soluble, it is fat soluble, so it will stay in your system up to three months." What happens is athletes find out that if they stop using after July 4th, they are not going to show positive. Announced testing programs are good, they will show your alumni and the university that you are doing a good job, because you are not going to have a lot of positives. But they don't work.
You have to have unannounced spot checks sometime during that year, and, if they go to a bowl game, just before they go to the bowl game also.
If you are going to set up a testing program. you also want to set up a Student-Athlete Assistance Program first. If you are going to be scrambling because of the testing issue this year and you are going to set up testing first. the athletes are going to see it just as a punitive program. What you should really be doing is setting up your assistance program first. and then you take referrals from the testing program and refer them to\the SAAP. It is an automatic program for help.
We see a three-step process for punishment if someone shows positive. The first positive test results should be known only to the athlete and the doctor. That person then has advertised the fact that theyare positive. Also, there should be a collection of second test samples to verify the results because
five percent of all tests show a false positive. You can get good second tests at really cheap rates to verify if it is a true positive.
When you get the positive on the first level, the athlete is notified and then over the next month they will be subjected to an unannounced second test. If there is a second positive, that person
is automatically notified that the coach and the parents will be told. Also, internal punitive outcomes at the coach's discretion will occur. A third positive means external punishment, which basically means loss of scholarship next year or being kicked off the team without automatic referral for counseling or treatment. At the first two stages the students are referred to the SAAP.
If I went into any institution right now, 18 percent of the athletes would show positive. Three quarters of those would show positive for marijuana and one quarter would be positive for all other drugs combined. So, when we talk about this in terms of what you should do, marijuana is a hard topic to deal with. If you start getting positives on marijuana, you refer them to counseling centers and those kids
are using recreationally Friday or Saturday night, those counselors may send them right back to you, saying they don't have a problem. They do if they're on a team, but from a counseling perspective, they don't. That is why we have set up separate educational groups for marijuana users, so they understand to make choices. As they move through that progression of more positive results, they are going to have to see that there are punitive outcomes if they choose to use pot.
In terms of the last stage, even if a person is disqualified or kicked off the team, you should always have an assistance program there for that person. We believe that if people go through treatment, stop using drugs, come back and want to be tested again, coaches should give permission after a year's sabbatical for them to come back on the team. The carrot for many people is the sport they are playing. When we see these types of situations occuring in our society, they are not absolute and they should not be absolute in your universities. There should be help so that the athletes see that there is something down the road.
When we talk about a student-athlete program, it really is a five-step process, with all those different variables included in it. I would now like to introduce Junior Bridgeman, current member of the L.A. Clippers and current president of the NBA Players' Association. We will then open it up for questions on all of the topics we have brought up today. Thank you.
JUNIOR BRIDGEMAN :
Let me just start off saying that it is a little bit different for me to be speaking on drugs, somthing that professional athletes don't like to talk about. To tell you the truth, it would be
a lot easier to talk about the Boston Celtics winning the NBA championship or Louisville winning the
NCAA championship, seeing that I went to the University of Louisville on a basketball scholarship. But, Ron asked me to come and talk about the NBA's program, about what we have found in our quest, if that
is the right word, to rid ourselves .of the drug problem, how that is going and where we hope to go. In
a lot of ways, it may be beneficial because you, too, are entering into drug testing and that is something all the professional sports are going around and around about at this time.
Thinking back to when I first came into the league, I played with players who had alcohol problems, players who came to practice intoxicated but they would just stay away from the coach. All the guys knew that there was something wrong, but no one would say anything. The feeling was that we were professional athletes, we were taught to be mentally tough and to be able to deal with a lot of adversity. So, the feeling was that you could just handle the situation on your own. I played with others who had
problems with a lot of other drugs, pills. One player, after every game, would take a pill just to calm himself down, and we would see him bouncing off the walls at the hotel where we were staying, or riding
up and down the elevator continuously. We recognized there was a problem, but we didn't do anything about it. Once again, the feeling was that they could handle it, they were professional athletes. They might have .needed help, but we felt it would never get to the point where they were going to be a menace to themselves, their family or possibly the team.
Our involvement with drugs in the NBA, as I said, was kind of looked at out of one eye. It wasn't until 1982 that the Los Angeles Times came out with a report that said that three out of every four players in the National Basketball Association are involved with cocaine or cocaine abuse. That really shocked everybody. Even at that time, no one felt that statistic was accurate, and I still believe today that it was really sensationalized. But, it forced the players and the NBA to look at the problem.
In 1982 we sat down together and said, "Well, let's come up with something." We decided that if anyone is found using cocaine or heroin, we'd fine them $100,000. Well, somebody making $800,000 will
pay the $100,000 fine just to continue making their salary, so that wouldn't work. Then we thought we'd suspend him for 30,40, 50 games, or whatever. We went at it in a punitive way, and I think everyone here realized that professional sports survive because of fan support. When you get negat~ve fan support, that means they are not coming and you are not making any money. So part of the reason for our punitive approach was to change fan perception about our sport.
Our initial program that we set up involved drug testing. I know there has been a lot of publicity that says the NBA is not in favor of random drug testing. which we are not. We are in favor of drug testing and we do drug testing. but only after reasonable cause and a due process system. A player can be tested if enough evidence is presented to our drug expert. and if the league and players' association both decide that the evidence warrants random testing.
When we first started the program in 1982, we set an amnesty period. I think it was October when
the program was started and we gave everybody until January 1. If anyone had a problem, they could step forward in that time and there would be no strikes against them. They could receive help, they would still be paid and they would still be a part of the team. After that time, if a player stepped forward, for the first offense he was able to receive help paid for by the league and the players' association and he was also able to receive a salary. He would go to a rehabilitation center and after a certain time, if they thought he was fine, he would come back and rejoin the team.
On a second offense, he was still given help, but his salary was suspended and he was suspended from the team. He would still be able to rejoin the team after the experts felt he was fit and could come
back, and he would then continue on with his career. The third time, he would then be suspended and would
be out of the league for a minimum of two years. After two years, he could seek reinstatement, and it would be determined at that time whether or not he could continue with his career.
In 1982, from the player's standpoint we thought, "Hey, this might work. This will be great. What
we are doing is we are giving our guys a chance to get help. We are realizing that people make mistakes and we are not penalizing a person for making a mistake." But the thing that I think we did not
recognize at that time was the severity of cocaine addition. At that time, the feeling was that cocaine was not addictive, that it was something you could do and you could get off of it. Only the person who continued to use it risked a chance of being kicked out of the league. We have found that cocaine is addicting and it is not just a problem, it is a disease, a very serious disease, and it is in high schools and colleges.
To give you an example, in the NBA we made a film with some of our guys. I took the film to Denver to show to some of the high school students there. The reason I went to Denver is for no special reason other than the fact that Micheal Ray Richardson, who a lot of you probably know, went to high school
there. I just randomly went to three high shcools and presented the film. After the film was over, I asked the high school students what they thought of it. While the teacher was in the room they would
say, "Well, we don't really have much of a problem with that. That might be help for someone else." So then I would ask the teacher to leave the room, and with some reluctance the teacher would leave. I
would then ask the students, "Okay, now that the teacher is gone, how many of you, if you wanted to get high right here in school, would know where to go and how much it would cost you to get high?" Everyone there raised their hand. They knew where to go. I thought this may have been an exception, but when I went to the second school and did the same thing, about three quarters of the students raised their hand, At the third school, it was about the same thing.
While Denver may be a little different than other cities in the United States, I went to Los Angeles to a convention of supposed leaders, students who wanted to get involved in law somewhere in their life. I asked them the same question and I would say 80 to 90 percent raised thei~ hand. They knew where to go while they were at school, how much it would cost, and where and who to get it from. They knew whenever there was a narc or a person from the narcotics division in school. They knew who he was, who he was masquerading to be and not to buy from that person.
Those experiences really opened my eyes to the fact that it is a problem, and in dealing with it in the NBA, we have to look at it, as I said, as not just a problem but a disease. I consider it a
disease anytime a person will walk away from a $3 million guaranteed contract because he can't overcome
a problem that he thinks is a recreational problem. Anytime a person will walk away from their family and they don't know why. the only thing they know is that they feel better when they are using cocaine. they don't feel as good when they are at home. it is a disease. It's a disease anytime a player will tell me that the only time he did not use cocaine was the day of the game. because he knew that if he
got started then that he wouldn't show up for the game. I consider it a disease anytime we try and send a person to rehabilitation and we consider him alright after the 30 days that he is there. think he'll come back. healed. well and ready to enter t4e team environment and his regular life environment without any problems. It has to be a disease when a player goes through one time and does the same thing. the second time and does the same thing and then the third time and he just continues.
To talk a little bit about the tape we made, we used players who have gotten involved with drugs in our league talking about their involvement. A number of players who are not involved talk about their perceptions of people who they saw using and how it affected them. The main message running through the whole film is that it got out of control and no one knew how it gets out of control. No one started using cocaine with the idea that a month or two from now they were going to be addicted. Everyone started with the idea that they could handle it. They didn't start using one or two grams at a time
or whatever. They all started in recreational use, as Ron said. A friend came up to them at a party, after a game or when everything is going well and said, "Hey, try this. This will be okay and it won't hurt you." So they tried it. Maybe they didn't want to go back to it or didn't think they had a need, didn't go near it for a couple of weeks or a month. But, eventually, they came back the next time and got involved, and then instead of it being a month until the next usage, it is now three weeks and it creeps up on you. We have found it eventually just takes control and ends up ruining a person's life.
We also found the five percent who are more than recreational users, or the guy who uses almost all of the time, are real difficult to deal with. They almost have to hit the bottom or bottom out, where they lose something that is real precious to them like their careers, their job, their family and then they can start to put their lives back together.
If there is anything I can say from our involvement, from trying to combat drugs in professional sports, is that you have to have an education and you have to educate the players. This is the
mistake we made when we instituted the program. We just put this punitive situation out there and
felt that if a person were dumb enough to continue, then too bad. We realized when we did it that, sure there was someone who was going to fall by the wayside, but maybe that was the price we would have to pay. We didn't take into consideration the human side. To just punish somebody does not do the trick, you have to educate them. You have to try and walk with them through the whole process.
What are we trying to do in the NBA? Along with trying to help ourselves, we feel it is probably our duty also to see if we can help the institutions where our players came from. Everyone is familiar, I think, with the report that one football camp where they tested the players came back with 50 percent
of the guys there had used or were tested positive. What we would like to do, as I say, is go back to these institutions and in some way see if we can be of help or beneficial in fighting the problem with drugs and alcohol abuse.
Last summer I met, along with representatives from the baseball players' association, with the NCAA. They had a couple of ideas as to what they wanted to do but things are not easy and from that time I don't think anything has been done. I think it would also be beneficial if all the major sports got together and tried to do something, but we all have our own problems not only in dealing with ourselves, but
also in trying to deal with each other, which is unfortunate. The one point I am trying to make is that the NBA is trying to do something. We are soliciting your ideas along with Ron's as to what we can do to be helpful. The film would be helpful, I think, and we had talked about maybe getting some of the
guys who graduated from some of the universities to take the film back and sit down and work with you in an awareness program. Hopefully, that will come to pass. Really, that is all I have to say, Ron. Thank you.
Thank you very much Junior, we really appreciated your presentation. I think you are a great credit to professional basketball and athletics, and I want to thank you for sharing your very enlightening thoughts about professional basketball and your offer to go back into colleges and universities as well as the high schools.
I would just like to add, as a person who has gone through this process at two universities to set
up programs, that if you do not have a program, first go to your legal counsel on your university campus. You must clear through that area because that's one area that can present a problem for you. Also, check into your state laws with regard to testing. You cannot do some testings at some places and so that is an imperative thing you must do.
The second thing is that I think it is a shock to get your coaches in one room and talk to them about the program. If you are doing it for the first time, make sure it is just your coaches and yourself, because I think you will be amazed at the variance of interpretation or willingness to do certain things. Some people think steroids are not a problem and that we shouldn't be involved with it. And there are going to be some people who are going to take punitive action immediately, even if they smell any type of a problem. You are going to start from a polarized position with your coaches and you are going to have to go through, as Ron mentioned, an intense training to get a consensus of opinion.
It's imperative that you have your training rules posted by all of your coaches. One of the problems that I don't know the answer to is that the inconsistencies or variances between coaches' attitudes toward punitive action could be cause for a lawsuit. Where one coach will throw you off after the first time or the second, someone else will want to go five times. That person who gets thrown off after the second time is going to question how that other person who has gone through the same type of problem with the other coach, is still playing.
We have a long way to go to look at some of those particular problems. I don't know the answers
to those areas and we will need legal counsel on it. I think the key is the educational system. Education is where we need to be and drug testing is a by-product of controlling the problem and controlling the privilege of playing athletics, rather than the right to play athletics. I would like to throw it open now for any questions from the floor for Junior or Ron. Please go to the nearest microphone.
FROM THE FLOOR:
Ron, you gave us information on the student-athletes. Are you saying that the total on our campus is 20 percent of the student body, not just athletes?
Athletes are just the microcosm of all our segments and what you are seeing, I think, is the publicity because they get their name in the paper for it. With the main population, though, that figure is going
tb be proven. Now 10 percent of our population, possibly a quarter, has enough of a problem that they need help. If I go talk to loo Catholic priests or loo of our teachers or parents, those figures won't be true all of the time.
FROM THE FLOOR:
Ron, as you mentioned earlier, alcohol is the number one problem on our campuses. Are you referring to both use and abuse? Would you explain that, please?
First of all, alcohol is the easiest to get. We've just gone through a transition at the University of Wisconsin because Wisconsin's drinking age went from 19 to 21. We thought we'd have a lot of
difficulty, but I've gone allover the country where the drinking age is 21, and just because you're 21 doesn't mean you won't have a problem. You just find athletes or students more ingenious as to how they get alcohol. These are called fraternity or sorority houses. That's because it is so accessible, and our society also say~ it is okay.
A quick example is that in 1976, Miller Lite was 5Znd in beer sales across the country. Right now they're second. Ninety-five percent of all their commercials use athletes in them. One out of every three commercials having athletes or sporting events are beer commercials. So we indoctrinate many
people like this. I was telling Junior earlier, I came to the Convention last year and I went past one of the booths where they handed out one of these little flashlights that had no on/off switch on them. All you had to do was to press the center a bit and the light turned on. So I took it back to my twin brother's fiveyear-old son and I went up to him and said, "Eric, here's this little toy. I want you to use this." He came up and turned it on and it was like a little pop and he said, "No, Bud Lite." He's just five years old.
So we look at this in terms of how publicity across the country advertise alcohol now. Have you seen the new wine coolers? You see wine cooler advertising across the country is moving many more of the young people to drinking wine in our society. It comes out in terms of our society, how much we advertise alcohol. That leads to how big of a problem it is on campus. Drugs are still not advertised like that - it is behind the scenes.
Any other questions? If not, those of you who would like to stay afterwards, Ron and Junior will be available. Again, Junior, on behalf of NACDA, I want to thank you for an outstanding presentation and Ron, thank you very much. Thank you for your attention.