Alcohol affects athletes’ performances
By Kim Miller
Senior Sports Writer
More than one athletic team was affected by disciplinary actions due to student athletes drinking last semester.
Although there were several Asbury athletes who openly talked about the situation and what the consequences entailed, there were also several athletes who wished for these instances to remain within the private community of their team.
Drinking is prohibited for Asbury students, even if they are 21 years old and off-campus. Most schools in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities have the same rule. But opinions differ widely on the subject of student athletes and alcohol, especially between Christian colleges and non-CCCU schools.
From Lindsey Wilson College, in Columbia, Ky., all of the subjects who answered the questionnaire on student athletes drinking stated that drinking was pretty common and was to be expected. Punishments at Lindsey Wilson sometimes result in suspension, but, most of the time, athletes seem to get off with a hard warning. Cassidy Ball, a freshman at Lindsey Wilson, stated that for her team it would most likely result in a 5 a.m. punishment.
Ben Graham, a student athlete from Lindsey Wilson College, said, “If some of my teammates got caught drinking, nobody would care, other than worrying about if they got suspended or not. First time they’re caught, they have to watch a video and take this test over it – Alcohol 101 or something like that.”
At Taylor University, located in northern Indiana, the standards are nearly equivalent to our own. Anissa Richards, a sophomore who competes regularly for Taylor, said, “I think athletes should be punished if they are caught drinking. We are held, I believe, to a higher standard than regular students on campus because we represent the university while we compete and travel.”
Richards explained that the worst part would be deciding whether to agree on a teammate being punished. Athletes from the same team who differ in opinion can negatively affect how one another compete together when it really matters.
“At Taylor, anyone who is caught drinking, athlete or not, is given a warning,” said Richards. “And if it happens again, they’re kicked out.”
From Indiana Wesleyan University, there were several differing views. Student athlete Holli Leslie’s perspective is one that considers each side. “It is one thing to forbid something on campus, but it is another thing to take away the freedom of being an adult,” she said. “I personally have a problem with so many rules because it makes me feel like I’m back in high school.”
“On the other hand,” Leslie said, “I think alcohol would be a huge distraction. It would take my focus off of competing for the glory of the Lord…. If someone is 21, I don’t think they should get in trouble for drinking responsibly off campus, [but] I understand them banning it for the sake of everyone and the team…. I think that if [someone] has a chance of affecting the team and the spiritual atmosphere, they should be disciplined accordingly.”
Although a consensus on the punishments of drinking might never be reached, it is widely recognized by university student athletes that it should be against better judgment to place your team in that predicament during the season.