Keene State College athletes have the privilege of playing competitive sports, yet some athletes throw that away for a weekend of partying. In order to keep KSC athletes focused on athletics there are rules and penalties about drinking and partying during their playing season.
According to the student athletic handbook, policy number E-4 states that an athlete who is caught drinking while under the age of 21 will be suspended for two games or ten percent of the season, whichever is less depending on where the team is in its season. The handbook also states that coaches have the ability to impose certain rules to coincide with KSC’s athletic policy.
One of these rules that could be imposed is the 48-hour rule, which prohibits the coach’s athletes from consuming any alcohol 48-hours before a game or match. Men’s Soccer Head Coach Rick Scott said he holds his athletes to this standard.
Scott, who graduated from KSC in the 70s, said that the drinking culture hasn’t changed all that much since he went to the school, but the rules themselves have changed- for the better.
“I think when [I] was in school here, we had a lot more leeway. I think you need those strict policies. I think they’re necessary,” Scott said.
Senior baseball player Keith Simpson said that the rules and regulations surrounding athlete-drinking at KSC make sense and are for the best.
“It keeps us [athletes] out of trouble,” Simpson said.
“It’s pretty strict, but I think it could be a little more strict,” Simpson continued, “We come to college to play a sport and many people are like, ‘it’s D-III, it’s D-III,’ but it’s still a college sport and we’re privileged to play a college sport.”
Simpson said he would like to see a two-strike system, where players are kicked off the team as the final strike.
When they do get in trouble, Scott said he has had to bench his players for a couple games as a result of drinking policy violations. However, Scott also said that he has never had a repeat offender.
“They sit right behind our bench on the bleachers with their Keene State jacket on and people look [and ask], ‘Why aren’t you playing?’… I think it really bothers them after the fact… They are remorseful and they do feel like they let down the team and that’s probably why we haven’t had any repeat disciplinary consequences,” Scott said.
When all is said and done, Scott said players who are committed to their team will do what they have to do to put their best effort forward.
“If you have a committed player, they will take care of themselves,” Scott said.
Cross Country head coach Tom Pickering was requested for an interview but declined to comment on the subject of this article.
Jake can be contacted at email@example.com