Alcohol, Drug and Other Prohibited Substances Policy


Department of Athletics Alcohol, Drug and Other Prohibited Substances Policy

Bates College has established community standards for the use of alcohol and other drugs, detailed in the Alcohol and Drug Policy found in the Code of Student Conduct. The Department of Athletics Alcohol, Drug, and Other Prohibited Substances Policy articulates the expected standards of behavior of all student-athletes regarding the use or abuse of alcohol, other drugs and prohibited substances and the support measures and minimum sanctions that will be implemented when violations of this policy occur. This policy will apply regardless of whether a violation occurs before, during, or after a student-athlete’s competitive season.

This policy serves as a baseline policy for individual coaches, who have the latitude to establish additional team policies either in-season or out- of-season, in consultation with the Director of Athletics. This policy does not supersede the discretion of individual coaches regarding the student-athletes on their team and their status as a member of their team. Under the direction of the Director of Athletics, coaches retain discretion over all team participation decisions.

The Department of Athletics seeks to support student-athletes holistically and recognizes the connections between the athletic, academic and social aspects of their lives. The use and abuse of alcohol, other drugs or prohibited substances can have significant detrimental effects on all aspects of a student’s life. Alcohol and marijuana, in particular, undermine the core mission of the Department of Athletics by impairing the student-athlete’s ability to train and perform to their full potential. In addition to affecting the individual student-athletes, the use and abuse of alcohol, other drugs or prohibited substances can have a negative impact on the integrity and character of individual teams or the department as a whole.

The Department of Athletics partners with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and Campus Safety and Security to implement this policy. While these offices will routinely share information in order to best support our students, this Athletic Department policy does not supersede or replace the college’s Alcohol and Drug Policy or the Code of Student Conduct.

The Use of Alcohol and Marijuana

Bates College student-athletes must comply with all NCAA policies and programs and college policies related to alcohol and marijuana. Additionally, all student-athletes are expected to abide by the civil laws regarding alcohol and marijuana use and possession. The illegal or irresponsible use of alcohol violates the college alcohol policy, and marijuana possession/use is prohibited. 

Department sanctions will generally be levied for the following:

  1. The consumption of or being under the influence of alcohol or the use of or being under the influence of marijuana by student-athletes at any Athletics Department sponsored activity. A sponsored activity includes, but is not limited to, any contest, practice or team meeting, travel to or from sites of practice or competition, and camps/clinics. 
  2. A documented violation of the college’s Alcohol and Drug Policy (i.e., a Campus Security report that results in a strike or other formal action through the student conduct process).
  3. A civil citation and/or arrest for an alcohol/marijuana offense.

Violations of this policy are cumulative throughout an athlete’s entire career at the college. Violations of other college or department policies or standards or particularly egregious conduct (including distribution of marijuana) will be adjudicated under the Student-Athlete Code of Ethics. These violations may also be referred directly to Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Committee, where sanctions of probation, suspension and expulsion are considered.

First Violation

First-time violators must meet with the Director of Athletics to discuss the incident. A warning will be issued and a written copy of the warning will be sent to the student-athlete. A copy will also be placed in the individual student-athlete’s file. If needed, the student-athlete may be referred to the Health Center for counseling related to the violation.

Second Violation

A second violation will result in the loss of sport(s) participation, e.g., competition, practice and/or team activity as decided by the Director of Athletics and Head Coach. In addition, the student-athlete will be required to meet with the Director of Athletics and to complete community restitution hours. The student-athlete may also be required to complete educational programming and/or to attend counseling at the Health Center. Copies of the sanction letter will be sent to the student-athlete, placed in the student-athlete’s file, and sent to the student-athlete’s parents/guardians. 

Third Violation

Athletes who violate this policy a third time face suspension or termination from the Athletics program.

Medical Amnesty Policy

In situations where a student has contacted Campus Safety and Security or Bates EMS for medical treatment either for themselves or for a fellow student, the student calling and the student receiving medical attention will not be subject to an official violation of this policy as described above. This will apply regardless of whether the student is transported to the hospital, is taken to the Health Center, or does not require any additional treatment. The students will be required to meet with Director of Athletics and may be asked to attend counseling at the Health Center.

The Use of Illegal Drugs or Performance Enhancing Substances

Student-athletes enrolled at the college may not purchase, possess, distribute, manufacture or sell any prohibited substance or illegal drug, any prescription medication without an authorized physician's approval or any substance belonging to any of the classes of banned substances published by the NCAA, and updated from time to time. The classes of banned substances include, but are not limited to: stimulants, anabolic steroids, diuretics (masking agents), street drugs (e.g., heroin, cocaine, etc.) and peptide hormones and analogues (e.g., human growth hormones and erythropoietin (EPO). The college may test for any substance contained on the NCAA list of banned substances, including unlisted compounds that are related to specific drugs listed by the NCAA (i.e., substances that are included in a class of drugs by their pharmacological action and/or chemical structure). 

The student-athlete is responsible for everything that goes into his or her body; students use any drug and nutritional or dietary supplements at their own risk. A dietary supplement is a product that contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients: vitamins, mineral, amino acids, herbs or other botanicals, and other metabolites. Many dietary supplements or ergogenic aids contain banned substances. Often the labels of dietary supplements are not accurate and are misleading. Terms such as “healthy” and “all natural” do not ensure that supplements are free of banned substances. All participants should keep the Sports Medicine staff and/or team physician aware of all over-the-counter or prescribed drugs that they may be taking, including nutritional/dietary supplements. Furthermore, all participants must consult with the Sports Medicine staff and/or team physician before using any dietary or performance enhancing supplement.

A participant found to have possessed an illegal or banned substance will be subject to sanctions determined by the Director of Athletics in consultation with the Head Coach and the Vice President for Student Affairs and, depending on the violation, may be referred directly to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Selling and/or Distributing an Illegal or Banned Substance

Whereas the use of a banned substance has the potential to lead a user to self-destruction, selling and/or distributing an illegal or banned substance has the potential to harm others, as well as the offender. Consequently, Bates Athletics, in its sole and absolute discretion, reserves the right to deal appropriately with any participant who is found to have sold and/or distributed or intended to sell and/or distribute a banned substance, including marijuana. A participant found guilty by Bates College or any state or federal entity to have sold or distributed a banned substance will be subject to immediate dismissal from the athletics program.


Any participant who has a drug or alcohol problem is encouraged to seek help before a breach of this policy occurs and punitive action is taken by the Department of Athletics. Any self-referral will be strictly confidential and no team or administrative sanctions will be imposed upon the student-athlete who has made a personal decision to seek professional assistance. However, student-athletes may be referred to appropriate counseling services and withheld from athletic participation until the Director of Athletics determines that such student-athletes are physically and mentally fit to resume their participation.


Participants are reminded that pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 11.1.7, the use of tobacco products is prohibited by all game personnel (e.g., athletes, coaches, trainers, managers and game officials) in all sports during practice and competition.

A student-athlete who violates this tobacco policy will be subject to the same sanctions as detailed under the Alcohol and Marijuana section.

Appeal Process

Student-athletes who wish to appeal the imposed sanction(s) may do so under the following process: 

  1. A student-athlete appeal request must be submitted in writing to the Director of Athletics within two class days of receiving the sanction.
  2. The grounds for appeal include the following:
    1. Sanction(s) imposed is grossly inappropriate
    2. New evidence has come to light which would have been sufficient to alter the decision regarding the sanction(s).
    3. The appeal will be reviewed by the four faculty members of the Athletic Committee.
    4. The student-athlete may choose to be present at the appeal hearing and may be accompanied by a representative of his/her choosing.  However, only the student-athlete will be permitted to address the Athletic Committee.
    5. The Athletic Committee members will hear the appeal and may agree with the original sanction(s), impose a different sanction(s) or dismiss the original sanction(s).
    6. The decision of the Athletic Committee is final and will be communicated in writing by the Director of Athletics to the student-athlete,

Bates Athletics reserves the right to alter, amend and/or modify the Alcohol, Drug and Other Prohibited Substances Policy at any time without prior notice to the participants and/or department staff.