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University of Virginia to Host NCAA-Funded Conference
On Substance Abuse Prevention for Athletics Departments

January 14, 2004 --

More than 250 student-athletes, athletic trainers, coaches and administrators representing 46 colleges and universities from NCAA-member institutions will attend the fourteenth annual Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education (APPLE) conference Jan. 21-23 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Charlottesville. 

During the weekend-long conference, attendees evaluate their athletics department’s programs and policies and develop a customized action plan to take back to their schools. Each school sends four to six representatives, including at least one student-athlete. Student-athletes are active participants in the APPLE conference by helping develop their team’s action plan and learning how to implement or improve a Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) program at their school. 

The APPLE model provides a method for athletics departments to assess and improve their substance abuse prevention programs by examining seven areas that impact student-athletes:  recruitment practices; departmental expectations and attitudes; education; alcohol and other drug policies; drug testing programs; sanctioning procedures; and referral and counseling services.  The U.Va.-developed SAM model is a peer-based prevention approach designed to create a safer, health-enhancing atmosphere for teams and to help students receive early intervention for alcohol concerns.

U.Va.’s Center for Alcohol and Substance Education has received grants from the National Collegiate Athletic Association for each of the past 14 years to fund these annual conferences.  A second APPLE conference will be held in Long Beach, Calif., from Jan. 28-30.  Eighteen schools have registered a total of 100 participants.

The APPLE model of substance abuse prevention was created in 1991 by the late Susan Grossman, founding director of prevention programs at U.Va.’s Institute for Substance Abuse Studies (now the Center for Alcohol and Substance Education), and Joe Gieck, director of life skills at U.Va.

For more information, contact Susan Bruce, director of CASE, at 434-924-5276 or sbruce@virginia.edu

Contact: Susan Bruce, (434) 924-5276

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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