Let’s be honest; for a lot of college students, going out and partying is part of the college experience. That’s no less true at Keene State College than it is anywhere else. However, for student-athletes at Keene State, there are certain rules and policies that must be followed in relation to partying in order to remain an active member of Keene State’s NCAA teams.
The Keene State College Student-Athlete Handbook directly states some of the rules that student-athletes must follow, along with the according penalties given to student-athletes who break those rules. Most of these rules discuss the consequences associated with either the consumption of alcohol or use of tobacco and other drugs by Keene State student-athletes, especially those who are underage (see info-graphic below).
Abraham Osheyack, the assistant athletic director at Keene State College, discussed how members of the Keene State Athletic Department will go about ensuring that these policies are followed. “If the punishment is something like a suspension, then it is up to the coach to ensure that the player does not participate in that game. Beyond that, any of those decisions on something like a longer-term absence where you’re talking about a multiple offender would be at the discretion of the coach and the athletic director likely working together to determine that sanction.”
Other major partying-related policies set by the NCAA and the Keene State College Athletic Department relate to education about drugs and alcohol. On page 21 of the handbook, the education component of the policy is discussed. “The Athletic Director and Drug Testing Coordinator will implement an educational program for student-athletes that: Explains this policy and the NCAA drug-testing policy; Explains how legal and illegal substances affect the human body and alter athletic performance; Teaches coping skills needed to be a substance-free student-athlete; Creates an education program for administration, coaches, and staff to identify student-athletes using controlled or illegal substances and to effectively intervene with the student-athlete who is not compliant with this policy.”
When discussing partying and substance abuse with student-athletes, educating the student-athletes on what will happen to their bodies if they use drugs or alcohol or stay out late at night is one of the first things certain members of the Keene State College Athletic Department choose to focus on, rather than the punishments that student-athletes will be assessed for using those substances.
Ryan Cain, the head coach of the Keene State College men’s basketball team, said it’s more about education with his players than policies. “We try to educate our guys about what needs to be done to perform at the highest level,” Cain said. “So with that, obviously partying has many impacts depending on what you choose to do when it comes to partying. If you’re drinking alcohol, or anything else, obviously that in itself has an impact on your body. If you’re out late at night, later than you should be, then obviously that can have an impact on your ability to perform at the highest level. So it’s really just the education with our guys.”
Philip Racicot, the director of Athletics and Recreation at Keene State College, had views similar to Cain’s when it comes to student-athletes and partying. “Being involved in college athletics, we try to associate that with a healthy lifestyle,” Racicot said. “The safety, the health and the well-being of our students is clearly at the forefront of everything that we do. Part of our culture in the department is that we want to instill positive behaviors. A lot of that’s about education.”
Once again, partying is a part of the lives of many college students. But for student-athletes, thinking twice before going out is more than likely a favorable decision.
Matt Holderman can be contacted