Email from McCutcheon to student athletes

Sent prior to meetings with athletes

Photo courtesy of

Dr. Bruce McCutcheon
Dr. Bruce McCutcheon

Since the start of the academic year we have seen some terrific athletic performances by our fall sport teams, which reflect so very positively on our program. I am very excited about the overall direction of our program as we build a championship quality athletic department.

Unfortunately, we continue to struggle with the issue of alcohol and its abuse by some of our student-athletes. Since the Orientation Weekend we have had multiple student-athletes involved in the abusive use of alcohol, which required several to be transported to the hospital. Even after my communiqué this past Saturday with student-athletes about the dangerous use of alcohol, there were athletes involved in alcohol related transports on both Saturday and Sunday nights. As of this writing, half of all transports this year have been student-athletes. Lest anyone thinks that the transports weren’t necessary, the BAC for the victims ranged from .234 to .333. These are DANGEROUS levels of alcohol in the blood stream. Things need to change and we need your help and support in affecting that change.

Both the College and the Department of Athletics provide student-athletes with multiple opportunities to learn about how alcohol and illicit drug use can interfere with one’s ability to attain peak levels of performance. Through a series of lectures, interactive team activities, and on-line educational opportunities, students learn the physical and psychological effects of drugs and alcohol on athletic and academic performance, common misperceptions about the frequency of alcohol and drug use among student-athletes at Lafayette, strategies for responding to pressure to drink or use drugs, and ways to help teammates who may be dealing with problems with alcohol and drug use. All student-athletes participated in an alcohol education program already this year.

Being a student-athlete at Lafayette is a special privilege. They stand in a long maroon line spanning over 140 years in which Lafayette student-athletes have cherished and nurtured that special privilege to represent the College and its 19,000 alumni. Student-athletes earn that privilege by carrying out to the best of their ability specific responsibilities. Being a varsity athlete at Lafayette is not for everyone. Few are chosen and fewer still can stand up to the challenge. I am asking for your support by talking to your student-athlete about their responsibility not only to themselves and their families, but to their Team, Department and College.

As a partner in the mission of the College, our Department mission and core values are focused on education, competition and personal growth and development. These policies are intended to prevent choices that do not correspond to our mission and values. We are a family at Lafayette and are sincerely concerned about the health and safety of each of our students. We take this matter very seriously and hope that you will support this necessary step.