A proposal calling for mandatory drug testing of student athletes has been submitted for review to the Cal State Fullerton Athletic Council, Athletic Director Ed Carroll said Monday.
According to the proposal, Fullerton athletes would be subjected to tests for all substances currently banned by the NCAA, including cocaine and anabolic steroids.
The plan, which also calls for educating athletes about substance abuse, was the result of a study conducted by an eight-member committee formed by Fullerton administrators last spring. The committee presented its findings to the Athletic Council last Thursday, Carroll said. If the council approves the plan, it will be presented for final review to Jewel Plummer Cobb, university president.
The committee comprised Roger Nudd, the chairman and vice president for student services; Carroll; Leanne Grotke, associate athletic director; Barbara Stone, faculty athletic representative; Harlay Estrin, director of the student health center; athletic trainers Jerry Lloyd and Julie Dukellis, and Ira Unterman, a student appointed by the Athletic Council.
Carroll said the committee's proposal is the "wave of the future," adding that a deterrent to substance abuse has become a necessary part of an intercollegiate athletic program.
"We have a number of purposes in mind, but paramount is to better educate student athletes to the dangers of substance abuse and deter them from getting involved with drugs," he said.
Under a plan adopted by the NCAA in January, drug tests will be administered at all football bowl games and national championships sanctioned by the NCAA this school year. Carroll said he hopes that a drug program will be established at Fullerton sometime in the spring, before Fullerton athletes are likely to compete in NCAA championship events.
"We'll most certainly have a number of athletes tested this spring," he said. "We'd much rather head any problems off in advance than wait until they arise at a national championship."
Carroll said a copy of the proposed policy has been circulated to Fullerton coaches and that those surveyed were "very supportive" of the plan. "And I think athletes--by and large--will be supportive once they understand the benefits of the program," he said.
Grotke said the committee contacted several NCAA Division I schools that already have instituted drug testing programs, seeking information about them. She said the education part of the plan would be "as informational as possible" and would perhaps include talks from former athletes who have had substance-abuse problems. Grotke added that funding for such a program is "the one unknown right now." She estimated that a minimal program would cost $8,000 to $10,000, and said that the most extensive plans cost schools as much as $100,000.
"We'd probably have to begin with a very limited program because of our limited resources," Grotke said.