Last week, 31 athletes were suspended
due to alcohol policy violations.
On Sept. 2, head football coach
Chris Creighton suspended 14
athletes, including three starters, for
last Saturday’s game against Grand
View. Additionally, on Friday, Associate
Director of Athletics Heather Weems
confirmed the suspensions of 17 cross
The football team’s alcohol policy
states that players who are of legal age
can drink only on Saturdays, and that
athletes who are not of age are not
permitted to consume alcohol.
“Our team policies were broken;
therefore, there are consequences,”
head football coach Chris Creighton
The Drake Athletic Department has
an alcohol policy that went into effect
in August. Drake Athletic Director
Sandy Hatfield-Clubb said that each
head coach has the authority to enforce
a more stringent rule regarding alcohol
“The head football coach
communicates to his players … that
drinking alcohol during the week
will earn them a one- to threegame
suspension (if the athletes are
21),” Hatfield-Clubb said. “He also
communicates his expectations that
a player acts responsibly and follows
university policies and local laws.”
Most of the cross country suspensions
take place tomorrow at the Oz Memorial
invitational in Minneapolis, Minn.,
while the remaining athletes were
suspended last Friday for the Bulldog
Classic in Des Moines.
“The issue within the track and field
and cross country team was very similar
to that of football,” Hatfield-Clubb
said. “Our coaches became aware of
a violation of team alcohol policy, and
asked members to self-report. The
programs, coaches and student-athletes
alike have handled the situation with
great integrity, and we are looking
forward to our upcoming fall contests.”
Since the cross country team is in
season, runners are not permitted to
drink alcohol regardless of age, according to team members.
“As a coaching staff, we have met with our track and field and cross country student-athletes individually and in small groups, in addition to team meetings,” Kaiser-Brown said. “Our student-athletes have responded with honesty and accountability, which is a credit to their character. Sanctions have been dealt in accordance with team policy. Our student-athletes are excited to demonstrate their work from the summer in our upcoming meets and practices.”
The Athletic Department policy spells out consequences for up to four violations. The first violation requires the student-athlete to undergo a drug test by training room staff at the athlete’s expense. It also requires a meeting with the respective head coach and full-time athletic trainer to discuss the offense and potential future penalties. Under the policy, consequences for a fourth offense can be as severe as sitting out half of the season, cancellation of athletics aid or dismissal from athletic teams.
“University and athletic department policy exists to protect the health, welfare and integrity of our student-athletes and programs,” Hatfield-Clubb said. “It is important, when policy violations occur, that we handle them expediently and consistently, and from a philosophy of student and program development. Our student-athletes and teams continue to be some of the best ambassadors of Drake University, and we support all the wonderful success they have on and off the field.”
Hatfield-Clubb said that she is proud of the way coaches handled the situations and that enforcement of alcohol policies is all too uncommon in NCAA Division-I sports.
“It’s important to recognize that our coaches are getting on the front end of what could be a bigger problem,” Hatfield-Clubb said.
Last week, Creighton said that he was focused on the game on Saturday and will continue to enforce alcohol policies, hoping that members of the football team will develop as student-athletes.
“Like the department, we’re not in it just to win games on Saturday afternoons,” Creighton said. “I think winning is a by-product of doing things right and doing them hard. We’re always trying to challenge these guys to be the best people they can be, the students they can be and the best players they can be. And that’s obviously an issue that people face in college and that’s something I address. They know where I stand on it.”