At Hofstra University, it has been the practice to require pre-participation physical examinations for student-athletes before they participate in intercollegiate athletics.  In addition, Hofstra has long recognized the responsibility and obligations of coaches, athletic trainers and health care providers to monitor the general health of student-athletes to determine their fitness to compete.  Indeed, the athlete has a similar obligation to himself/herself as well as to teammates.

Hofstra University recognizes more broadly that the use of non-therapeutic drugs and the abuse of alcohol represent a major health problem in America and place the safety of our citizens at increased risk.  While this is true for everyone, it may be particularly true for men and women where the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs have a negative effect on behavior, relationships, academic performance and the overall learning environment.  Nowhere is the concern for the health and safety of adults more critical than in the case of student-athletes.  These men and women make extended use of their physical capabilities as student athletes, who represent Hofstra University.  Toward these goals, all Hofstra University student-athletes are to adhere to all University and NCAA policies and rules regarding the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.  These are outlined in this publication, as well as in the Hofstra University Guide to Pride, the NCAA Drug Testing and Education Handbook and the NCAA Division I Manual.

Hofstra University believes that the use of non-therapeutic drugs and the abuse of alcohol in America today require an extension of long-existing policies.  Hofstra addresses the issue through a program of education concerning the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.  In addition, Hofstra extends the required physical examinations to ensure that the student-athlete, the Team Physician, Director of Athletics, the Head Athletic Trainer, and the Head Coach are fully apprised of the physical condition of the student-athlete for athletic competition.  This has always related to the condition of the athlete’s heart, lungs and musculoskeletal systems, etc., but now must be extended to include the possible use and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Hofstra University’s athletic health and safety program consists of three (3) primary parts.  First, all student-athletes must participate in an educational program designed to address various health concerns such as drug use, alcohol abuse, steroid use, eating disorders and others.  Second, all student-athletes are required to take a preseason athletic physical.  This may include screening for drug use.  There is also an ongoing assessment program with drug testing throughout the student-athlete’s participation in Hofstra athletics. The third part is the availability of professional counseling, through the Hofstra University Student Counseling Services, to support student-athletes in such need.

All matters relating to the physical or emotional condition of any student-athlete will be treated confidentially and revealed only on a “need-to-know” basis as determined by the Team Physician based on the particular circumstances and consistent with university policy.  Information regarding drug test results, psychological or medical referral, or any other health concerns will not be disclosed beyond these individuals unless deemed necessary by the University President and consistent with privacy laws and regulations.


The athletic health and safety program at Hofstra University will be administered by the department of athletics and reviewed annually by the athletic health and safety committee appointed by the President.


At least twice during the academic year, scheduled at the direction of the head athletic trainer, or his/her designee, an educational seminar will be scheduled for all university student-athletes.  Each year, all student-athletes are required to attend a seminar on drug and alcohol abuse and an second educational program as scheduled.  Topics may include steroid use, eating disorders, stress management, sexual misconduct, healthy decision making, and others.

Attendance at these seminars is a requirement for participation on any Hofstra University athletic team.  Attendance of all student-athletic trainers and appointed student managers assigned to, or working with a team, is required at these seminars.

Other educational programs that are developed may involve student-athletes throughout the year.  These may include presenters on site or educational films or online seminars.  Each year during individual team meetings, the Hofstra University athletic health and safety program will be explained to the student-athletes by a staff athletic trainer.  Copies of the complete program are available to anyone upon request and are provided in the Student-Athlete Handbook and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy, Procedure and Guidelines Manual.  All student-athletes must sign a health and safety program informed consent form prior to participation in intercollegiate athletics at Hofstra University.

There will be an annual review of the health and safety program for all full-time and part-time department of athletics staff.

Pre-Participation Physicals

All student-athletes will be required to complete a pre-participation athletic physical examination.  Prerequisites for the athletic physical are a completed university medical history form and required immunization records on file at the University Student Health and Wellness Center.  The athletic physical will include a review of medical history and examination of cardiovascular, sensory and musculoskeletal systems, and may include a drug screening.  This examination will be conducted under the supervision of the Team Physician.

Ongoing Assessment

While the pre-participation physical exam is intended to ensure the health and well-being of the student-athlete, and others that may depend on him/her, one’s condition may obviously change over time.  All student-athletes who are participants in Hofstra University’s athletic program are constantly assessed for any potential health problems.  This includes the normal, everyday observation of student-athletes by university staff.  It will also include random urine testing throughout the year for drug screening.

This ongoing assessment reflects the continued concern of the university athletic staff for the well-being of their student-athletes.  Should any member of the university staff believe that a student-athlete may have a potential health concern, that staff member should immediately inform the Team Physician and/or Head Athletic Trainer or his/her designee.  If, upon preliminary examination of the situation, either of the officials deems it warranted, the student-athlete must report to the Team Physician for an examination.  This examination may include any required medical tests to evaluate the problem.

A student-athlete may elect to be examined by his or her own physician and have that physician certify to Hofstra University that the student-athlete is cleared to participate in the relevant sport and practices.  Should the student-athlete provide such certification from a qualified physician, the Team Physician may require that such medical certification be updated as required in the Team Physician’s medical judgment.  In addition, the student-athlete must sign a release and waiver in a form prescribed by Hofstra University in order to participate as a student-athlete.

If a student-athlete refuses to participate in any testing or examination, he/she will be suspended from participation in intercollegiate athletics at Hofstra University.  This suspension will be lifted only upon full compliance with the terms of the athletic health and safety program.  Should such an impairment be suspected while a student-athlete is traveling with his/her team, it is the responsibility of the coach to prohibit participation in practice or contest until a medical judgment is rendered.

Drug Testing

Student-athletes may be randomly selected for testing for drug use as part of their pre-participation physical exam.  A percentage of the student-athletes on each team (as determined by the Team Physician’s protocol) will be randomly selected for drug testing as part of their athletic physical.

In addition to this pre-participation process, random urine testing of Hofstra University student-athletes for drug use will occur throughout the academic year.  Student-athletes will be tested through a random protocol developed by the Team Physician.  In addition, those athletes with a prior positive test will be tested regularly as directed by the Team Physician.

Random selection of student-athletes for year-round testing will be based upon the following criteria:

1.         Student-athletes on each individual team will be selected during each testing period as established by the Team Physician upon consultation with the Head Athletic Trainer.

2.         Student-athletes will be randomly selected for testing during their specific sport season (fall, winter, spring), off-season conditioning or training programs and during their “non-traditional” season.

In addition, all members of teams that qualify or may qualify for an NCAA championship event shall be tested before the NCAA competition begins.  This includes student-athletes who may have already been tested through the random selection process. 

A member of the university’s health or athletic staff may request drug testing outside of the random selection process.  Such request shall be directed to the Team Physician who shall determine whether a reasonable basis exists to warrant such testing.

Student-Athlete Drug Testing Selection Procedures

•Student-athletes will be randomly selected for drug testing by use of a computer generated program.

•The student-athlete will be notified of his/her drug test selection in a manner that allows confidentiality.

•For the individual sports teams of tennis, golf and cross country, the team administrator and the Head Coach will be notified that the selected student-athlete must report to the athletic training room at the specific testing time.  It must also be communicated that failure to report will result in ineligibility.  At no time will it be revealed that this appointment is for a drug test.

The athletic training staff will inform the student-athlete that he/she has been selected for drug testing prior to the test.  The student-athlete will be directed to the collection site at the scheduled time.  Sample collection for random testing will be done after physical activity.  University personnel must witness the collection of all urine samples.  A male witness will accompany male student-athletes.  A female witness will accompany female student-athletes.  Although every effort must be made to ensure proper decorum and the comfort of the student-athlete, the witness will verify that the sample collected belongs to that particular student-athlete’s.

Any student-athlete who fails to comply with a directive to submit to drug testing will be treated as if a positive result has occurred. 

The student-athlete will provide the sample required for testing in the appropriate container as supplied.  They will then properly close the sample container.  The witness, in full view of the student-athlete, will seal the sample container and follow the proper chain of custody procedures as directed by the testing laboratory.  The student-athlete will also follow the specified chain of custody procedures.

All test results will be sent to the Team Physician and the Head Athletic Trainer, who will make every effort to notify the student-athlete within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving any positive test results.  An appointment with the Team Physician must immediately be scheduled in order to discuss findings, ask/answer any questions and communicate possible treatment plans.  The Head Athletic Trainer or Team Physician will inform the student athlete’s Head Coach and the Vice- President and Director of Athletics who in turn will inform the University President of any such results.

At the appointment when the student-athlete is informed of the positive test result, he/she will be given a copy of the written notification, the laboratory chain of custody form; and the lab report.  The administrative process will be explained.  This includes notification of required appointments with the Team Physician, the Vice-President and Director of Athletics, and his/her Head Coach.  An explanation of how to initiate the appeals process will also be provided.  The student-athlete must initiate the appeals process within seven (7) days of this notification (as explained in the appeal procedure section of this document).

Both the student-athlete and the Head Athletic Trainer will sign the written notification.

Should the student-athlete remain in the Hofstra University intercollegiate athletic program, the following procedures will be applied:

The student-athlete will be directed to the Team Physician for treatment programs and/or the Vice-President and Director of Athletics for any applicable sanction (See sanctions for positive drug test.).  He/she must make an appointment to see the Team Physician and the Vice President and Director of Athletics within twenty-four (24) hours of being notified of a positive test result.

All positive tests will be confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GM/MS) before a student-athlete is informed of such a result.

Drug testing will include substances from the National Collegiate Athletic Association list of banned substances, as updated periodically.  A list of banned substances as updated may be found on the NCAA website.  Drug testing may include any or all of these substances and any additional substance(s) if determined necessary.  Selection of substances to be tested will be determined by the Team Physician and Head Athletic Trainer.


If a student-athlete demonstrates a health concern that requires counseling, that student-athlete will be encouraged to seek support from the University Student Counseling Services.  Counseling is mandatory (a minimum of three (3) sessions) for a student-athlete who tests positive for drug use and must be arranged prior to restoration of eligibility to participate and compete in intercollegiate athletics.  Counseling can be arranged at the University Student Counseling Services or may be sought from an outside counselor at the student-athlete’s expense.

The student-athlete will provide to the Team Physician, in writing, confirmation of attendance, participation in, any missed appointments and completion of the counseling program.  The Director of the University Student Counseling Services must be informed by an outside counselor (a minimum of three (3) sessions), if one is used, of the enrollment, successful participation, and completion of the drug counseling program.  The student-athlete will be required to sign a consent form, to confirm attendance, participation in and completion in counseling only.  All specific information discussed in counseling will be confidential between the student-athlete and the counselor.  All communications regarding student-athletes enrolled in counseling will go through the Team Physician.  The Team Physician will inform the Vice President and Director of Athletics and the student-athlete’s Head Coach of the student-athlete’s status.  A student-athlete who fails to attend, participate in or complete his/her counseling program may be barred from practice and/or may be suspended from intercollegiate athletics at Hofstra University.  The student-athlete is responsible for obtaining all required paperwork to confirm participation in counseling sessions.

NCAA Banned Drugs

If the test for the presence of drugs is positive, written notification of the positive test results will be given to the student-athlete by the Head Athletic Trainer or his/her designee within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving the results.  The student-athlete, acknowledging receipt of the results, will sign the written notification.

Performance Enhancing/Recreational Drugs - Sanctions for Positive Drug Test

A student-athlete who tests positive for a performance-enhancing drug, “recreational” or “street” drugs as outlined in the NCAA list of banned substances is subject to the following sanctions:

First positive result:

(a) Suspension from a specific number of consecutive intercollegiate contests, including exhibition, regular season and post-season contests (but including at least one non-exhibition game), as follows:

Men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, wrestling and field hockey: two (2) contests; 

Volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf: four (4) contests; and

Softball and baseball: six (6) contests

(b) Mandatory counseling (minimum three (3) sessions).

(c) All scholarship awarded will remain.  A student-athlete shall remain eligible during ongoing counseling sessions provided the student’s participation is ongoing. 

Second positive result:

(a) Suspension of eligibility to compete for twelve (12) months from the date of the positive test; and

(b) Loss of scholarship for a minimum of twelve (12) months. 

(c) Student may reapply for scholarship and to rejoin team after period of suspension, but the University does not guarantee that either will be permitted.

Third positive result:

(a) Loss of all remaining eligibility in all sports at Hofstra University; and

(b) Permanent loss of scholarship. 

During the period of ineligibility, the student-athlete is not eligible for renewal of athletic scholarships under NCAA Bylaw 15.3.4.  Furthermore, this period of ineligibility may be binding at all NCAA institutions.  Upon reinstatement, the student-athlete may be eligible for athletic scholarships based on the coach’s recommendation.

Please note: In all NCAA championship events and year-round testing programs, NCAA guidelines will be in effect and will supersede Hofstra’s program and sanctions.

Treatment and Sanctions

A student-athlete who manifests a physical, psychological, or other health impairment will be directed to the Team Physician for recommended treatment.  The Team Physician will determine the student-athlete’s fitness for participation in athletics.

Hofstra University reserves the right for its coaches to impose additional, and/or more rigid, sanctions than those listed in the athletic health and safety program.  Coaches will work with university and athletic administrators in designing and implementing such sanctions.  Questions regarding these sanctions should be referred to team administrators or the Vice President and Director of Athletics.

Prescription Pain Relievers/Use of Prescription Drugs

Hofstra University tests for the use of prescription pain relievers such as Vicodin, Tylenol III, and Percodan.  Their chemical names include hydrocodone and oxycodone.  Hofstra University also tests for certain other prescription drugs (such as sleep aides).  Although the NCAA does not test for these, Hofstra does include them in our testing procedures.  The NCAA does test for certain stimulant medications prescribed for attention deficit disorder.  Inappropriate use of these medications can lead to NCAA sanctions, and Hofstra does test for a class of these medications (amphetamines).

If a positive test is from a prescription that the student-athlete was given, presentation of the prescription to the Team Physician will waive the sanctions of a positive test.

If the student cannot present a valid prescription, the test is considered positive.  A student-athlete may not rely on a prescription issued to anyone other than the student-athlete; such use is illegal and subject to sanction.  This represents illegal use.

A first time positive test result for illegal use of prescription drugs will incur the following sanctions instead of those listed above in the section entitled “first positive result”:

            (a) Required meeting with the Team Physician for education on prescription drug misuse,

            (b) Mandatory counseling (minimum of three sessions), and

(c) Increased rate of drug testing.

Following the first positive test for prescription drug misuse, any further positive test will be subject to the sanctions outlined for Second and Third positive results.


Cases involving alcohol abuse will be treated as a health and safety concern.  A student-athlete who demonstrates an alcohol abuse problem will be directed to the Team Physician for referral to an alcohol counseling program and may be immediately suspended from participating in intercollegiate athletics until he/she is enrolled in an appropriate counseling program.  Please note: A student-athlete involved in any on-campus alcohol violation remains subject to the University Code of Conduct.


The use of tobacco and tobacco products has long been recognized as a serious health threat.  It has been named as the single most preventable cause of death in the United States.  Such use is also inconsistent with the goals of sports and athletic conditioning.  Furthermore, in 1994, the NCAA enacted legislation banning the use of tobacco products by student-athletes and athletic department personnel during all practices and games.

It is the concern of Hofstra University that all of its students are provided with proper information regarding the use of tobacco.  This includes both the long-term and short-term effects on the human body.  Furthermore, Hofstra University desires to maintain the proper environment within its intercollegiate athletic program to discourage tobacco use.

The use of tobacco, in any form, by student-athletes is banned in the athletic environment.  This is to include office areas, locker rooms, weight rooms and athletic training rooms, as well as during practice, events, “on the side-lines” and on university-sponsored team travel.

Violators of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action from the department of athletics.  All members of the university department of athletics staff are responsible for the enforcement of this policy and NCAA legislation in this matter.

Disciplinary Actions

First Offense:

Verbal and written warning by the team’s Head Coach.  Review of policy and treatment options by team’s athletic trainer.

Second Offense:

Written documentation of offense, with copy forwarded by Head Coach to Vice President and Director of Athletics, Compliance Officer, and Head Athletic Trainer.  The student-athlete will be required to meet with the Team Physician for education on the detrimental effects of tobacco use.

Third Offense:

Written documentation, mandatory counseling, and suspension from the next week of activity (practice and/or games).


Student-athletes, at times, use dietary supplements or training aids to help increase their strength, endurance or other performance factors.  Many contain substances banned by the NCAA.  Notwithstanding the promotional claims for these products, they are not subject to governmental oversight, testing or other quality control regulations as are medications.  Most often, the claims for their beneficial effects are not based on scientific evidence and in many cases no research has been performed at all to substantiate claims.

Student-athletes are also reminded that the use of supplements may carry the risk of adverse health effects.  These substances are sometimes mislabeled or incompletely labeled and may contain banned or otherwise harmful substances.  Student-athletes are cautioned about using any unknown or unproven substances.

The student-athlete is responsible for whatever is in his/her own body.  Hofstra University will not be responsible for claims made by the manufacturers of these products.  The university will not test any products to verify their composition nor verify that they are free of banned substances.

Furthermore, Hofstra University, its employees and other representatives will not supply University student-athletes with dietary supplements or training aids without the direction of the Team Physician.

Questions regarding supplement use should be directed to the university athletic training staff, Team Physician, and/or staff in the university health and wellness center.

Appeal Procedure

A student-athlete who is sanctioned under the provisions of the health and safety program has the right to appeal.  The student must submit a written petition for appeal within seven (7) calendar days of being notified of their sanction to the Dean of Students who will convene an appeal panel as indicated below.

The petition for an appeal should specifically address why the appeal should be granted.

Please note: All positive drug test results are tested by two different methods to insure accuracy.  As such, all positive tests are considered valid.  Therefore, an allegation of an invalid test is not usually grounds for an appeal to be granted.  If a student chooses, the university can have a second test performed on the original sample.  The university, at the student-athlete’s written request, will re-test the original sample, at the original lab, before a final decision regarding an appeal is given.  The University will cover the cost of the re-test of the original sample, at the original lab.

In those situations where documentation is deemed inadequate, or when grounds for appeal involve merely an allegation of an invalid test, an appeal hearing may be denied.

If an appeal hearing is granted, the necessary documentation - test results, notification letters, previous incidents, etc., will be forwarded to the Dean of Students and be available to members of the appellate panel.

The appeal panel will consist of six (6) members including the chair who will be appointed by the President.

While the student-athlete is in the process of appealing, he/she will be temporarily suspended from competition but may participate in practice and conditioning activities.

The Appellate Hearing

Procedures regarding the appellate procedures can be found in the Hofstra Guide to Pride.

Personnel Complaints

Hofstra University forbids any of its employees to provide, induce or encourage student-athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs or other illegal drugs, or the illegal or abusive use of alcohol.  This excludes any drug used therapeutically and/or prescribed by qualified medical personnel for a specific injury or illness.  Student-athletes are encouraged to file any complaints with the Dean of Students regarding Hofstra University personnel who provide, induce or encourage any student-athlete to use any drug or alcohol for performance enhancement, recreation or otherwise illegal use.  Until such time as a full investigation is warranted, the Dean of Students will see that full confidentiality is maintained.  Disciplinary action will be taken against any Hofstra University employee found providing such drugs or encouraging their use by student-athletes.

Program Review

In order to ensure a proper, fair and effective athletic health and safety program, an ongoing review is necessary.  During the spring semester of each academic year, a committee will be appointed by the University President’s Office to review the program.  This committee will include those persons involved in the running of the program, other university personnel and student-athletes.  Any recommended changes in the health and safety program must be approved by the University President’s Office and will go into effect for August 1 of the following academic year.

Hofstra University is committed to extending equal opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status in employment and in the conduct and operation of Hofstra University’s educational programs and activities, including admissions, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs.  This statement of nondiscrimination is in compliance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, the Age Discrimination Act and other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to nondiscrimination (“Equal Opportunity Laws”). The Equal Rights and Opportunity Officer is the University's official responsible for coordinating its adherence to Equal Opportunity Laws. Questions or concerns regarding any of these laws or other aspects of Hofstra’s Equal Opportunity Statement should be directed to the Equal Rights and Opportunity Officer at, (516) 463-7310, C/O Office of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, 101 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549.

Hofstra’s prohibition against discrimination is also addressed in Hofstra’s Harassment Policy.  The Harassment Policy prohibits harassment--including sexual harassment and sexual violence--based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status.  Hofstra University is committed to professional and interpersonal respect ensuring that no individuals are subjected to harassment or discriminated against in any way on the basis of any of these protected characteristics.  Harassment based on any of these protected characteristics is a form of discrimination prohibited by law and by Hofstra University’s Harassment Policy.  The Harassment Policy, which is available online at the link referenced below, contains complaint procedures for resolving complaints of harassment in violation of Hofstra’s Harassment Policy.   Harassment policy link:

The athletic health and safety program addresses issues particularly relevant to athletes.  The program is in addition to other university rules and procedures governing students, including the student conduct code.