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Southern Conference to Participate in myPlaybook Program

July 13, 2009

From the Southern Conference Office

Spartanburg, S.C. - The Southern Conference has announced it will participate in myPlaybook, a pilot program designed to prevent alcohol and other drug related harm among student-athletes. It will be the first time the program is implemented throughout a Division I conference. The program is a joint venture between the Southern Conference, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center for Drug Free Sport, the UNC Greensboro Department of Public Health Education and Prevention Strategies, LLC.

myPlaybook will target incoming freshmen student-athletes in the league for the fall of 2009. A web-based course, it will feature pre and post-test surveys to measure student success, immediate student feedback and tools to track student progress. Developed by Dr. David Wyrick of UNC Greensboro, the myPlaybook program includes interactive learning exercises and detailed information, specific to student-athletes, on the effects of alcohol and marijuana use. The program also includes education on the NCAA's drug testing policies and information on the NCAA's banned substances.

"I'm very pleased the Southern Conference has committed to participate in the myPlaybook pilot program," said Dr. Wyrick. "The conference-wide approach provides us with an excellent opportunity to investigate issues critical to program effectiveness, implementation, and other influential factors such as the role of drug testing."

Over 2,500 student-athletes from 60 Division II conferences took part in the program during the fall of 2008. After completing myPlaybook, student-athletes demonstrated immediate gains in knowledge of NCAA drug testing procedures and banned substances, negative alcohol expectancies, and negative marijuana expectancies. The prevalence and frequency of binge drinking during the previous two weeks was significantly reduced and student-athletes indicated their intentions to use harm prevention strategies related to alcohol increased significantly.

"Our membership believes in this project and committed to it on a conference-wide basis at our league meetings in May," said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. "We are looking forward to working with Dr. Wyrick to better educate our freshmen student-athletes on the dangers and risks of alcohol and drug abuse."

Funding for the program will come from the NCAA, National Center for Drug Free Sport and the Southern Conference.