Promoting Student-Athlete Wellness and Substance Abuse Prevention

Education Programs

All new student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers participate in a mandatory ATOD education program. Materials and programs are regularly available through identified resources and specifically tailored to the needs of student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers, and student athletic trainers. The athletics department participates in a peer education program designed or adapted for the needs of student-athletes. Peer educators receive training and supervision from appropriate ATOD professionals in ATOD information and best educational practices. Coaching and sports medicine staffs are well informed about ATOD abuse prevention, especially as it relates to the athletics culture. Education programs are evaluated regularly.

Model Programs:

Division I

Student Athlete Mentors (SAMs) - Saint Francis University

  • SAMs serve as mentors to first year student-athletes and serve as role models in leadership, scholarship,
    and service. Website provides links to several years of newsletters.

"No More" Video - University of Georgia

  • Student-athletes created a one-minute video on sexual assault and dating violence issues and encouraging bystander intervention.

"SAMs Say" Poster Series - University of Virginia

  • Student-athlete interns research health topics specific to student-athletes and created a series of posters hung in team locker rooms. Program description and many poster examples are available.

Division II

Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) Program -  University of Virginia's College at Wise

  • The program is intended to provide education and a supportive culture among student-athletes and to help develop student-athletes into leaders. Website includes a link to the SAM nomination form.

Student-Athlete Handbook (p. 28) - Augusta University

  • The substance abuse policy requires student-athletes and coaches to attend the annual substance abuse education program organized by the athletics department.

Responsible Lions -  Texas A&M University, Commerce

  • A student-athlete led group promoting awareness and educating their teammates, peers, campus and community on a variety of issues. Videos and social media links are available on the website.

Division III

Badger Leadership: Promoting Healthy CHOICES - Johnson State College

  • This project, funded through an NCAA CHOICES grant, educates, supports, and empowers students to make choices that are healthy, safe, and legal concerning alcohol, and to actively engage student leaders in promoting positive choices to their peers through peer advocacy/mentoring. The website provides an overview of all campaign components.

Athlete Mentor Program - Worcester State University

  • The program connects upper class athletes with first-year athletes to help the students adjust to college. Mentors serve as knowledgeable resources and regularly meet with their freshmen mentees. Website links to several program press releases.

Athletic Mentorship Program (AMP) - North Central College

  • AMP connects first-year and upper class student athletes to help new students maximize their personal and academic growth. It is organized around regular meetings and assignments for mentees.

Student Athlete Services (SAS) Curriculum -  Gustavus Adolphus College

  • SAS is a four-year series of programs addressing eligibility, well being topics, leadership opportunities and career development. Year-by-year program offerings are provided.

Drug Testing & Safe Play Criteria Brochure - Bridgewater College

  • The brochure outlines the drug testing philosophy, process, sanctions and opportunities for self-referral.


Previously Featured Programs:

Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) Program - University of Virginia - DI

  • A Student-Athlete Mentor serves as a peer to peer resource to other students on his or her team to help prevent substance abuse. SAMs receive valuable training in alcohol and other drug abuse prevention throughout the year and learn to use educational and professional resources to support their efforts.

 Knights CARE Program - University of Central Florida - DI

  • The mission of the CARE Team at the University of Central Florida is to promote the well-being of UCF student-athletes through peer education. This Program is designed to promote Courage to stand, Awareness of resources, Responsibility to act, and Excellence on and off the field. The CARE Team is comprised of a Council, made up of three student-athletes from various teams, and representatives from each team. All of the Representatives are appointed by their coaching staff and voted on by their teammates. CARE Team meetings are held once a month and only open to CARE Team members.

The Islanders Way - Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi - DI

  • The Islanders Way was developed as a mode of operation for students and staff at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. These 21 words outline the core values of the institution and serve as a code for all Islanders to live and work by.
  • "Islanders are prepared to achieve excellence through integrity and respect, devotion to team above self and loyalty to the Island University."

Student Athlete Mentors (SAMs) - Saint Francis University - DI

  • SAMs serve as mentors to first year Red Flash student-athletes. SAMs serve as role models in leadership, scholarship, and service; in addition to taking an active role in helping the student-athletes who he or she is mentoring 

ResponsiBillikens - Saint Louis University - DI

  • ResponsiBillikens are a peer resource for SLU student athletes to go to for discussion and dialogue on difficult issues related to issues like sexual health, sexual assault, substance use, and overall wellness.

    Student Athlete Mentors (SAMs) - Grinnell College - DIII

    • The Student Athlete Mentor Program (SAMs) is composed of one official representative from each team. These individuals, hand chosen by their peers in consultation with coaches, serve as a resource to their teams (particularly first-years), all student-athletes, at NSO, and for the Grinnell College campus as a whole. Through ongoing training, SAMs engage with the many resources that the campus offers so that they can assist their teammates in connecting to help when needed.  SAMs have also developed skills in having important and supportive conversations with fellow students about common challenges they face.  SAMs are a critical part of the collaborative effort for athletic integration with both academic affairs and student affairs, as well as across our own department.

    Student Athlete Mentors (SAMs) - Wilson College - DIII

    • The  Wilson College student athlete mentor (SAM) programs serves as a peer-to-peer resource to other student-athletes to help promote student-athlete wellness and support the development of a well-balanced lifestyle that encourages their emotional well-being, personal growth and positive decision making skills.

    Student Athlete Mentors (SAMs) - Salisbury University - DIII