Athletes and alcohol

Stephanie Compton, Guest Writer

Dry Season. It refers to the time in a team’s competitive season where the athletes are not allowed to be around or drink alcoholic beverages.

“For the volleyball team, dry season means you are not to be anywhere that alcohol can even be a factor in the situation,” said sophomore volleyball player Cara Gillespie. “For many teams the dry season rules are for everyone, even the over-21 upperclassmen.”

If you talk to any team on a college campus, the subject of the dry season is a major one. It can be a decision made by the coach, but it can also be left up to the whole team to decide.

“[The volleyball team] redefines it every year,” Gillespie said. “We have an alcohol contract with our coach, but we sit down before we have that meeting and decide how we are going to define dry season.”

At Pacific Lutheran University, the rules of dry season vary from team to team. Some teams, such as the volleyball team and soccer teams, have strict bans on alcohol during their seasons. Other teams, like softball and the men’s and women’s basketball teams, have more lenient rules for those who are of legal age.

Many dry season rules are not strictly enforced until the conduct of students comes to the attention of PLU. The NCAA makes each athlete sign paperwork at the beginning of the year that encompasses everything from gambling to drugs. Within that jumble of papers, student athletes pledge that they understand that drinking is against the code of conduct of the NCAA. It is rare for Division III athletes to be drug tested, but if a student tests positive for drug use they will lose a year of eligibility and will not be allowed to compete in the upcoming season.

One factor that has changed the game for dry season rules is social media. With platforms like Snapchat’s “Story,” it is easy to get caught drinking in someone else’s post. Many teams now include social media rules and consequences in their team discussion.

“[For the volleyball team], if you are in a post where it could be construed that you were drinking, if you were there but you weren’t drinking, the consequence is essentially an apology to the team,” Gillespie said.

The rules may vary from team to team, but it is plain to see that alcohol is a topic of high priority to athletes at PLU.

 

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