Punishments can be rough for failed drug scans

Erin Fowler, Staff Writer

UPJ athletes are selected randomly by the NCAA to complete a drug test in order to participate in their sport.

Team punishments for bad behavior involving drugs or alcohol can vary from team to team.

According to the NCAA rules the testing is nonstrategic and can happen year-round. A missed test is regarded as a positive test and the athlete is suspended from playing for a year.

Testing is not limited to street drugs; it also includes performance-enhancing steroids, drugs, stimulants and diuretics.

According to Pitt- Johnstown assistant athletic trainer, Elissa Till, as of last year no athlete has tested positive in NCAA testing.

Athletic director Pat Pecora the coaches follow the university’s policy on alcohol and drugs.

“The first thing we do is follow the school policy,” Pecora said. However, he, like many other coaches, takes the entire situation into account.

“If multiple members of the team are involved, then the entire team will be punished,” he said. “That can include early morning practices or early morning runs.”

Not all athletes have faced random drug tests, but all can be affected by a failed test, according to Zeke Buchta, junior soccer player.

“I have never been selected for a drug test, but I know that the NCAA asks the program to randomly test someone.

“If there is a failed drug test then the whole team is selected to be tested,” Buchta said.

Coaches can take a severe route for team members who get in trouble with alcohol.

“There is an automatic six-game suspension for the first offense,” said head baseball coach Todd Williams.

“But after the second offense I kick them off the team.”