Official: Coaches discipline athletes who are arrested
Mar 03, 2013 (The Dominion Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Stories of collegiate student athletes running afoul of the law because of excessive drinking pop up in newspapers and on Internet sites on a regular basis.
Nearly 38 percent of the arrests involving WVU athletics reported in The Dominion Post during the past five years (2008-'12) were alcohol-related.
Nearly 18 percent of the arrests involved drug charges, ranging from possession of narcotics to possession of a controlled substance.
Terri Howes, WVU associate athletic director and senior women's administrator, said discipline is generally handled by the coaches.
The university has programs in place to educate not only its student-athletes, but all students about alcohol and drugs.
"The university, as well as the athletic department, is very concerned about it," said Ed Etzel, psychologist for student-athletes.
Etzel said WVU's coaches can request programs -- such as alcohol education -- through athletic student-services.
He said individual counseling is available for those struggling with alcohol and drug issues.
WVU offers a freshman orientation class -- SEP 170 -- that includes a unit on alcohol issues.
All first-year students are also required to complete an online course, AlcoholEdu for College, which Etzel hails as "an important part of students' education when they come to WVU."
The course is broken into two parts.
The first part must be finished by the beginning of the fall semester, the second part in mid-October.
WellWVU, the students' center of health, describes AlcoholEdu for College on its website as a "non-opinionated, science-based course taken by hundreds of thousands of students each year. Whether you drink or not, AlcolholEdu will empower you to make well-informed decisions about alcohol and help you better cope with the drinking behavior of your peers."
WVU also has its CHAMPS Life Skills program, started in the spring of 1995, which works with student-athletes in such areas as personal development, career goals, academic excellence and community service.
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(Morgantown, W.Va.) at www.dominionpost.com Distributed by MCT Information
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