Salisbury University Athletics Drug-Testing Policy

Introduction

Salisbury University is committed to the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes and the desire to maintain a level playing field. We are dedicated to promoting fair competition through maintaining an environment that is conducive to our student-athletes developing to their fullest potential academically, athletically and socially.  The Salisbury University Department of Athletics recognizes that it is a privilege for a student-athlete to be a part of our athletic teams and with this privilege comes the responsibility of maintaining high character, integrity and honor on and off the playing surface.  Salisbury University supports the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) policy on prohibiting student-athletes from using performance enhancing drugs and/or illegal substances. We also support the NCAA ban on the use of tobacco products as well as the federal guidelines for the use of alcohol.  Research shows that substance use and abuse in sport poses many risks to the overall welfare of the student-athlete and can greatly diminish their academic and athletic performance.  The following policy statement has been adopted and shall be administered by the Salisbury University Department of Athletics.  The Salisbury University Department of Athletics reserves the right to make changes to this policy as needed and this policy should not be construed to create a contract between a student-athlete and Salisbury University (please refer to the athletic website for the most current version www.suseagulls.com).  Please note that this policy represents the Salisbury University Drug Testing Policy, which is separate and distinct from the NCAA drug testing program (including all sanction phases).  Information regarding the NCAA drug testing program is available at www.ncaa.org.

Purpose

The Salisbury University Department of Athletics has developed this Drug Testing Policy that in conjunction with a drug and alcohol education program is aimed at accomplishing the following:

  • To promote the health, safety and welfare of the student-athletes who participate in its programs and represent Salisbury University in intercollegiate athletics.
  • To educate and inform all student-athletes about the NCAA, University System of Maryland(USM), Salisbury University, Department of Athletics policies and State and Federal laws regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs and illegal substances, including alcohol and tobacco.
  • To deter drug, alcohol and tobacco use and abuse among student-athletes to maintain an environment that promotes their optimal health, safety and overall wellbeing.
  • To identify and assist those who use or abuse drugs and/or alcohol and who would benefit from counseling, education and treatment.
  • To maintain the integrity of the Salisbury University Department of Athletics, Salisbury University and the student-athletes whom they represent.

While educational programs are designed to provide each student-athlete with an informed reason to abstain from drug, alcohol and tobacco use and abuse, randomized drug testing is a key component of the Salisbury University’s Department of Athletics’ Drug Testing Program (DTP). Under The Department of Athletics procedures for drug testing, immediate progressive educational, disciplinary and rehabilitative actions will be taken if a student-athlete tests positive for performance enhancing or illegal drugs. Similar sanctions will be enforced for alcohol violations (refer to page 3-4 of DTP). The Department of Athletics DTP and drug testing protocols complement, and are in addition to, the NCAA regulations regarding substance abuse. Therefore, when a student-athlete tests positive in an NCAA mandated drug test, the NCAA rules for discipline will apply in addition to the requirement to participate in the Department’s positive drug test mandatory assessment and counseling.  The student-athlete should be aware that if he/she tests positive for a substance on the NCAA list of banned-drug classes, the NCAA can declare that student-athlete  ineligible to represent the institution in: (i) any contest against outside competition, regardless of the student’s enrollment status or how the competition is classified (e.g., scrimmage, exhibition, or joint practice session with another institution's team) and (ii) post-season and regular season competition for a minimum of one season of competition, for 365 days.(refer to NCAA bylaws 31.2.3.4 and 14.1.1.1)

In accordance with the Department of Athletics DTP schedule, student-athletes will be subject to drug tests based on, but not exclusive to, categories on the NCAA List of Banned Drug classes. The NCAA publishes an annual list of banned substances (Appendix E) that can be found at www.ncaa.org/health-safety. Be aware that this NCAA list is for reference purposes only. It does not establish the drug cutoff levels or include all the substances for which a student-athlete may be tested.

Due to the Department of Athletics and NCAA policies regarding drug use, a student-athlete should not take any dietary supplements or any medications that are not prescribed by a physician. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA and may contain banned substances not listed on the ingredients label.  If a doctor prescribes a drug that appears on the NCAA list of banned-drug classes, the student-athlete must immediately notify his/her Salisbury University Head Athletic Trainer. The NCAA list of banned-drug classes is subject to change without prior notification, which could result in a student-athlete unknowingly taking a substance from the NCAA list of banned-drug classes. Be advised that under NCAA rules and policies, as well as Salisbury University Athletic Department’s Drug Testing Program, a student-athlete’s lack of knowledge that a substance is banned IS NOT an adequate defense for a positive drug test.

Drug Testing Program Overview

The Salisbury University Department of Athletics Drug Testing Program is separate and distinct from the NCAA Drug testing Program and reserves the right to test for different substances and at different cut off levels.  All student-athletes are subject to testing by both the NCAA and the Department of Athletics’ drug testing program. The unauthorized use of any substance prohibited by Federal or State law and/or the NCAA by any student-athlete at Salisbury University is prohibited.  Further sanctions will be instituted for alcohol and/or tobacco violations.  Any costs incurred through education or counseling programs mandated by the sanctions will be the responsibility of the student-athlete. The consequences for violating the drug, alcohol or tobacco policy are herein defined.  The policy and procedures, including a consent form (Appendix A) will be distributed and explained to all student-athletes at the department or team’s organizational meeting at the beginning of each academic year or at any time a student-athlete is added to the roster.  The Salisbury University Department of Athletics reserves the right to amend the Drug Testing Program and policies at any time.

Alcohol Policy

Alcohol use by student-athletes at Salisbury University, including those of legal drink age, is strongly discouraged. It is the responsibility of every member of the University community to be aware of the risks associated with alcohol use and abuse. The Salisbury University Department of Athletics views the use of alcohol to be incompatible with the goal of athletic excellence.  Salisbury University student-athletes are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Department of Athletics and University policies, as well as Federal, State, and local laws.  This extends to the recruitment of prospective Salisbury University student-athletes.  Prospective student-athletes visiting campus and socializing with current students are not permitted to participate in any activities that involve the use of alcohol or other drugs.  It should be understood that possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by individuals under the age of 21 is a violation of State liquor laws.  Likewise it is illegal for anyone to supply alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21. Please refer to the list of additional violations below:

  1. Consumption of alcohol, regardless of age, 48 hours prior to competition or any event that formally represents Salisbury University, the Department of Athletics or team
  2. Driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) or other motor vehicle violations involving alcohol or drugs
  3. Public intoxication
  4. Drunk and disorderly conduct
  5. Other violations of local, State or Federal law involving alcohol or drugs, including possession
  6. Other violations of local, State or Federal law involving acts of violence due to or related to the use of alcohol and/or drugs
  7. Violations of the Department of Athletics and/or the Salisbury University Student Code of Conduct involving alcohol or drugs
  8. Minor in possession
The Director of Athletics, Program Administrator or designee, along with the Alcohol Sanctioning Committee (SAAC member & DTP Committee Member) may suspend or dismiss from all intercollegiate athletic participation any student-athlete upon a charge/citation, conviction or plea of guilty to any of the above or who is found through incidental discovery to be in violation of this policy.  Student-athletes who are found guilty of any alcohol or alcohol related violations will be sanctioned according to the discretion of the Director of Athletics, Program Administrator or designee, or if prescribed by the Director of Athletics, the Alcohol Sanctioning Committee may be consulted, with the minimum sanctions as follows:

Alcohol Sanctions

First Offense

  • Suspended from a minimum of 5% (rounded up to nearest whole number) for those sports which have scheduled 10 or fewer dates of competition, all other sports will receive a minimum of one game suspension:  Scrimmages and or exhibitions (e.g., alumni games, etc.) shall not qualify as contests with reference to satisfying suspensions, but the student-athlete may not travel and/or participate in these events either.  For home contests, the student-athlete may not be in uniform but they are permitted to be in the bench area in street clothes. Furthermore, contests that generally would qualify for the satisfaction of penalties but are not played for any reason may not be included.  
  • Minimum of one hour Salisbury University alcohol education class: and up to
  • 21 hours of community service as approved in advance by program administrator (athletic administrator responsible for oversight of the DTP)

Second Offense

  • Minimum sanction as stated in first offense under positive drug test. (page 7-8 DTP)

Third Offense

  • Minimum sanction as stated in second offense under positive drug test. (page 8 DTP)

Fourth Offense

  • The student-athlete will be immediately and permanently ineligible from all further intercollegiate athletic participation.

Tobacco Policy

Salisbury University is a smoke-free campus and does not condone the use of tobacco in any form (smoking, smokeless, “spit”, etc.)  Tobacco use often results in a physical dependency in the form of nicotine addiction.  The negative effects of tobacco use are well documented by the high incidents of oral, lung and other forms of cancer in those who use tobacco.  Even casual users may become addicted and suffer health consequences.  The Salisbury University Department of Athletics strongly encourages all student-athletes to abstain from tobacco use in their lives.

The NCAA prohibits the use of tobacco products by student-athletes, coaches and staff in all practices and competition.  Violations of the tobacco policy may be reported to the NCAA.   Additionally, tobacco products are prohibited during any type of team travel as well as any other setting where a student-athlete interacts with coaches, players, fellow students, faculty, etc or is formally representing an athletic team.  The use of tobacco at any team function (i.e., meeting, practice, competition, public service event, etc.) shall result in the suspension of the student-athlete, coach or staff member for the remainder of the athletic event  and they may be subject to further sanctions at the discretion of the Director of Athletics or designee.

Notification

The Director of Athletics (or designee) and/or the program administrator may schedule drug screenings and collections at any time.  The selected student-athlete will be notified by his/her head coach no more than 24 hours prior to a scheduled drug test.  The student-athlete is to report to the designated testing site at the specified time (Appendix B).  The student-athlete must show proof of identification through a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, Gull Card or passport. The student-athlete will have no more than 3 hours to produce a viable urine sample.  Failure to produce a viable urine sample or producing multiple dilute urine samples may result in a violation and be subject to the same sanctions as a positive drug test.  A student- athlete’s failure to appear for the scheduled drug test after receiving notice will be considered a violation and is subject to the same sanctions as indicated for a positive drug test as determined by this policy.  Additionally, any attempt to alter the sample or the detection of masking agents will be considered a violation and is subject to the same sanctions as indicated for a positive drug test as determined by this policy.

Selection Methods for Drug Testing

Random Selection:

Student-athletes may be selected for random testing throughout the entire calendar year. Student- athletes on the Salisbury University Intercollegiate squad list will be eligible for testing using random generation prepared by an outside contractor.  Additionally, the Athletic Director or program administrator may choose to test entire teams or have random selection from any team rather than the entire student-athlete database. No more than 24 hours notice will be given for a random drug test.

Reasonable Suspicion Selection:

A student-athlete may be subject to testing at any time when, in the judgment of Athletic Director and the program administrator, reasonable cause exists to suspect the student is engaging in the use of any drugs prohibited by this policy.  Such individualized reasonable suspicion may be based on information from any source deemed reliable by the Athletic Director and the program administrator, including, but not limited to: observed possession or use of substances that reasonably appear to be drugs of the type prohibited, arrest, producing multiple dilute urine samples during drug testing, failure to produce a viable urine sample during any drug test, previous positive drug test, conviction or student conduct violation for a criminal offense related to alcohol or the possession, use or trafficking of drugs of the type prohibited, credible reports of use, postings on social media, observed abnormal appearance, conduct or behavior, including unusual patterns of absence from training or competition, decrease in class attendance, significant decline in GPA, increased injury or illness rate, extreme changes in motivation levels, emotions and mood are all reasonably interpretable as being caused by the use of prohibited substances. (Appendix C)

Upon receipt of such information, the Director of Athletics and the program administrator shall determine whether there is reasonable cause to suspect that the student-athlete is engaged in prohibited drug use.  Individualized reasonable suspicion means:  If the available facts were conveyed to a reasonable person unfamiliar with the student-athlete or the athletics program, that person would conclude that it is more likely than not that there is a factual basis for determining that the student-athlete is using a prohibited drug.

If individualized reasonable suspicion is found to exist, the Athletic Director and/or the program administrator will meet with the student-athlete.  At that meeting the program administrator will provide written notice specifying the date, time, and place at which the student-athlete will be tested unless the student-athlete provides an explanation for his/her behavior which is satisfactory to the Director of Athletics and program administrator.  The test will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the screening process.  The consequences of failure to participate in or cooperate with such testing and the consequences of impermissible drug use discovered through such testing shall be the same as the described sanctions of this policy.

Should the student-athlete decide to voluntarily declare drug and/or alcohol use prior to testing, he/she will be subject to the consequences describes under voluntary disclosure in this policy.

Follow-Up Selection:

A student-athlete, who has had his or her eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics suspended as a result of a substance violation, may be required to undergo drug testing prior to eligibility to return to athletic participation. A student-athlete who has earned the privilege to return to intercollegiate athletic participation following a positive drug test or other drug or alcohol conviction, student conduct violation, or after treatment under voluntary disclosure, may be subject to follow-up testing.  Testing may be without advance notice and will be required at a frequency determined by the Director of Athletics and/or the program administrator.

Voluntary Disclosure:

A student-athlete with a drug or alcohol problem may voluntarily notify the Director of Athletics or program administrator.  There will be no initial sanctions assigned to the student-athlete; however the student-athlete will be referred to the counseling center for a mandatory evaluation.  After evaluation, the counselor may deem it necessary for the student-athlete to have some time away from practice and/or games to begin the recovery and treatment process.  The student-athlete is subject to follow-up drug/alcohol screening at the discretion of the Director of Athletics and program administrator.  The voluntary disclosure must be done prior to being selected for drug testing. Voluntary Disclosure is a one-time offering for the student-athletes during their intercollegiate varsity tenure. Student-athletes are not eligible for voluntary disclosure without sanction after being notified of selection for drug testing or after a previous positive test.  Any student-athlete who voluntarily discloses use of a prohibited substance under this policy shall complete a written consent for open communication (Appendix F) and information to be shared between the student-athlete, Director of Athletics, Counselor, Program Administrator, Head Coach and Parents regarding the student-athlete’s treatment, progress, recovery status and recommendation for return to intercollegiate competition when warranted.

 Procedures for Specimen Collection

The National Center for Drug Free Sport Inc. (DFS) or other institutional approved contractor will perform the specimen collection in accordance with established guidelines (Appendix D).  After collection the specimen will be examined by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) and World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) certified laboratories.  Each specimen is divided into separate containers, specimen “A” and specimen “B”. In the event that specimen “A” is found positive the specimen “B” will be immediately examined to confirm a positive test.

Objectives:

  1. To collect the urine specimens in a professional manner in order to obtain accurate results.
  2. To maintain confidentiality of all information.
  3. To protect the urine specimens from any possible tampering and maintain accountability for the specimens at all times.
  4. To provide a consistent and fair method of collection.

Notification of Positive Test Results

The Director of Athletics (or designee) and/or program administrator will be notified of each positive test result, and will then notify the head coach of the student-athlete.  Within 5 business days of receiving this information from DFS or approved contractor, each student- athlete who tests positive will be notified during a private meeting with his/her head coach, and/or Director of Athletics (or designee) and/or  program administrator.  Here, the student-athlete will be notified in writing of the consequences of the positive test as well as the appeal process. At this time, the student-athlete will have an opportunity to be heard. All student-athlete information and records associated with the Salisbury University Athletic Department Drug Testing Program will remain confidential and will be released to only those individuals with a legitimate need to know as noted in the student-athlete’s consent form.

Parental Notification Policy

The Family Educational and Privacy Act, as amended,  permits colleges to disclose to parents or legal guardians information regarding a student’s violation of any Federal, State, local law or institutional rule or policy that governs the use or possession of a controlled substance if the student is under 21 at the time of the disclosure.  The Salisbury University Department of Athletics Drug Testing Program requires every student-athlete to sign an authorization release form providing authorization to notify parents of a positive drug test.  Therefore, the Director of Athletics (or designee) will notify the student-athlete’s parents (or legal guardian) of the positive test results.

Sanctions

Any student-athlete who tests positive for a banned substance, is convicted of a drug or alcohol violation of a Federal or State law, found responsible for a University policy violation, or who refuses to submit to or show up for a required drug test as described in this policy (absent valid extenuating circumstances at the sole discretion of the Director of Athletics) shall be subject to the sanctions listed below.  Any student-athlete who refuses to sign any consent form associated with this policy will be prohibited from participating in intercollegiate athletics at Salisbury University.

First Offense

Any student-athlete who is in violation of Salisbury University Department of Athletics Drug  Policy, is convicted of a drug or alcohol violation, or who is found through incidental discovery to be in violation of this policy will be ineligible to participate in outside intercollegiate athletics until the following requirements for reinstatements are met:

  1. Submits to mandatory screening and counseling through the Salisbury University Counseling Center. Appointment must be made within 72 hours of violation notification. The student-athlete must report the time and date of mandatory assessment to the program administrator.  Based on this assessment, the student-athlete will then be required to participate in, and complete, a counseling and education program approved by program administrator.  In all cases, mandatory assessments and treatment will be conducted only at locations approved by the Salisbury University Department of Athletics.  If a student-athlete does not follow the specified treatment, he/she will be subject to further disciplinary action.  Discipline may include suspension from future intercollegiate athletic participation in a specified number of contests, suspension from future intercollegiate athletic participation, or other disciplinary action as deemed appropriate. Failure to schedule appointment within the 72 hour deadline will result in a 1 year suspension from all intercollegiate activities.
  2. Suspension from all countable athletically related activities for 72 hours.
  3. The student-athlete will be suspended from 20% (rounded up to nearest whole number) of all eligible scheduled competition. Scrimmages and or exhibitions (e.g., alumni games, etc.) shall not qualify as contests with reference to satisfying suspensions, but the student-athlete may not travel and/or participate in these events either.  For home contests, the student-athlete may not be in uniform but they are permitted to be in the bench area in street clothes. Furthermore, contests that generally would qualify for the satisfaction of penalties but are not played for any reason may not be included. The period of suspension will carry over from season to season. Examples: (A) If the period of suspension is not concluded by the end of the regular season, the period of suspension will carry over to the conference and/or NCAA tournament contests; (B) If the period of suspension is not completed by the end of the segment of the playing season that ends with an NCAA Championship, the suspension will carry over to the next traditional playing season that ends with an NCAA Championship.
  4. Head Coach, in consultation with Athletic Director, may impose additional sanctions.
 
The student-athlete will be subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing for the remainder of their athletic eligibility at Salisbury University.

Second Offense

Any student-athlete who is in violation of Salisbury University Department of Athletics Drug  Policy, is convicted of a drug or alcohol violation, or who is found through incidental discovery to be in violation of this policy will be ineligible to participate in Salisbury University intercollegiate athletics unless and until all of the following requirements for reinstatements are met:

  1. Suspended from intercollegiate athletics for 1 calendar year from violation.
  2. The student-athlete will not be permitted to engage in any athletically related activities with the team.
  3. The student-athlete must participate in mandatory counseling and education program and comply with all recommendations and/or treatment.
  4. Head Coach, in consultation with Athletic Director may impose additional sanctions.
  5. The student-athlete will be subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing for the remainder of his/her intercollegiate athletic eligibility at Salisbury University.
  6. The student-athlete must meet with the Director of Athletics and Head Coach for approval to return.

Third Offense

  1. The student-athlete will be immediately and permanently dismissed from all teams on which the student-athlete participates and be ineligible for any future intercollegiate athletic participation.

Appeals Process

Once a student-athlete has been notified of a positive drug test result he or she has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a written appeal of the findings to the Director of Athletics or designee.

A student-athlete who tests positive, or who disputes that he/she refused or failed to take a required test under the terms of the Salisbury University Department of Athletics Drug Testing Program, and who receives a sanction via the penalties of violation can appeal the sanction to the Appeals Board.   Within 5 business days, the Appeals Board has the authority to uphold, rescind or amend any decision including, but not limited to, increasing or decreasing a punishment.  A student-athlete may not appeal a given decision more than once (a student-athlete will have only one appeal per decision) unless new information is discovered and presented that, if true, would have a material impact on the original decision. The decision of the Appeals Board is final.  The appeals board shall be made up of the Faculty-Athletic Representative (FAR), a member of the Student-Athlete Wellness Team (SWAT), and a certified athletic trainer.  The appeals board may not have a representative who is in any way associated with the program of the student-athlete involved in the appeal.

During the appeal, a student-athlete may have a non-legal advocate present if he/she so desires, however to be eligible to be present the non-legal advocate must be a current employee of the Salisbury University community.  The student-athlete must notify the Director of Athletics or designee at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing regarding his/her intent to have a non-legal advocate present and provide the Director of Athletics or designee with the advocate’s name.  This advocate cannot be a parent nor can it be anyone directly related to the drug-testing program (i.e. Associate Director of Athletics, Program Administrator, Head Coach). The advocate may only be present in the silent role of support to the student-athlete and may not address the hearing members or the matter at issue. If the advocate causes a disruption in the hearing, the advocate may be dismissed from the room and unable to be present at any further stage in the process.  If the student-athlete is a minor (less than 18 years of age) he/she may have one parent or one legal guardian present at the student-athlete’s sole discretion.

The student-athlete must present his or her own case in appeal.  These proceedings shall include an opportunity for the student-athlete to present evidence as well as to review the results of the drug testing.

Reinstatement Procedure

Upon completion of the period of ineligibility, during which education and treatment will take place, the Program Administrator will declare the eligibility of a student-athlete to be restored upon written documentation of satisfactory completion of all sanctions by supervising professional, such as a substance abuse counselor.  This will be communicated to the student-athlete, the head coach(es) and the Director of Athletics in writing.

Confidentiality Commitments

Maintaining confidentiality and protecting the rights of the student-athlete are critical factors in drug testing.  Every effort shall be made to protect the confidentiality of student-athletes participating in the Drug Testing Program, including those who test positive, undergo reasonable suspicion testing, or enter treatment programs.  Subject to parental notifications and as required and permitted by law, (FERPA, etc.,) Salisbury University athletic department administration, coaches and hearing board members as described in the policy, under no circumstances are Athletics or University staff or any person associated directly or indirectly with the Drug Testing Program permitted to disclose to any third party, information acquired as a result of the student-athlete’s participation in the Department’s Drug Testing Program.

Program Administrator

Dawn R. Chamberlin, Ph.D.
Assistant Athletic Director/SWA
Office:  410-548-2588
Email:  drchamberlin@salisbury.edu

Download the full Salisbury University Drug-Testing Policy (with appendices) in PDF format here.

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