Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges

Medical / Training

Title IX Prohibits Discrimination Based on Pregnancy Too!

Title IX discussions usually focus on gender equality in the participation and treatment of athletics teams.  Few administrators realize that this federal law also mandates strong protections for student-athletes who are pregnant.  Every director of athletics should read the NCAA’s 2008 publication, Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes:  Resources and Model Policies, authored by Nancy Hogshead-Makar and Elizabeth Sorensen and available for free online.  

Model Policy: Supplements, Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Drugs

Athletic departments often impose strict policies regarding the use of recreational or performance enhancing drugs by student-athletes and often have extensive drug testing programs designed to detect and prevent such use.  However, many departments do not have policies in place that address the issuance of vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter drugs by coaches, trainers or other department employees.  These policies are particularly important given the fact that vitamins and other supplements are a relatively unregulated industry in the United States.  Occasionally, som

Sample Policy and Procedures: Operation of the Athletic Training Facility

Proper operation of health care facilities and programs, specifically the athletic training room operation, is the responsibility of every institution.    Policies should exist that clearly establish the overriding authority and supervision of medical doctors as well control of the involvement of other health care professionals such as athletic trainers, masseurs, chiropractors, strength and conditioning personnel, student trainers and other employees and third parties who may be involved in the care or treatment of student-athletes.  Policies related to the operation of

Q: Should an institution’s annual athletic department medical screening include screening for the sickle cell trait?

Answer:    Yes, review the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s  (NATA) “Consensus Statement: Sickle Cell Trait and the Athlete” related to screening for the sickle cell trait.  The NATA position is “We recommend confirming sickle cell trait status in all athletes’ pre-participation physical examinations.

Sample Student-Athlete Participation Agreement

STUDENT-ATHLETE NAME____________________________________SPORT______________________

I understand that a fulfilling educational sport experience requires the exercise of responsibilities on the part of both personnel associated with the athletics program and student-athletes.  As a student-athlete, I understand my responsibility to commit to the principles of self-discipline, collaborative effort and team building, and to be an ambassador for the institution.

Academic Standards

Q: What should athletes know about health care power of attorney documents and HIPAA releases?

Thanks to Renee Evangelista and Colin Sherer for putting together this Q and A.

A:  While most high school and athletics training programs require that athletes sign HIPAA releases that permit trainers to share the athlete’s health information whenever medical care is required to treat athletics injuries, every athlete must think about serious injury situations in which he or she is incapacitated and his or her health care proxy or surrogate needs to make a serious medical decision.  Who should be making this decision on the athlete’s behalf?

Q: Who supervises the athletics training staff --the athletics director or a medical doctor?

A:   Both.  Daily administrative oversight (ensuring practice and competition coverage, hiring and evaluation of training staff - usually in consultation with the team physician, maintenance of a clean and well operated facility, overseeing ordering of equipments and supplies, etc.) of athletics training operations is the responsibility of the athletics director or his/her designee.  However, medical oversight (specification of treatment, administration of prescription or OTC drugs, decisions on return to competition or competition restrictions, etc.) of the program must

Q: Who determines which staff members are required to undertake certification training (e.g, first aid, CPR, etc.)?

A: Athletics department employees, dependent on their job responsibilities, should be required to take certification courses in emergency medical training.  The Head Athletics trainer should consult with Team Physician and the Athletics Director to annually determine which athletics department employees shall be required to undertake certification training (e.g., basic first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, etc.).  The Head Athletics Trainer should (1) arrange for such training to be provided at no cost to employees, (2) maintain certification records, and (3) advise all emplo

Q: Who is responsible for ensuring collaboration and communication of health professionals in the training room?

A:  The Head Athletics Trainer, in close communication with the Team Physician, is responsible for ensuring collaboration and coordination of student-athlete treatment with specialty physicians, rehabilitation specialists, allied health professionals and other resources and agencies to produce the highest levels of student-athlete health care.