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The APPLE Model. Campus Implementation. © 2010 Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia Center for Alcohol and Substance Education: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License

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The apple model l.jpg

The APPLE Model

Campus Implementation

© 2010 Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

Center for Alcohol and Substance Education:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License


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NIAAA’s 2002 Task Force on College Drinking

  • Research-based approach to prevention

  • 4 “tiers”

    • Tier 1 – Demonstrated effectiveness in a college population

    • Tier 2 –Effective in the general population but not evaluated with college students

    • Tier 3 – Promising strategies that need additional research

    • Tier 4 – Ineffective

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Guiding Principles

  • The athletics department neither promotes nor condones illegal alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) activities.  All ATOD messages - verbal and written, formal and informal - and all contacts with prospective student-athletes are consistent with school and departmental policies. 

  • The athletics department recognizes that the behavior of the recruit will be a responsibility of the student host and that the athletics department bears the legal responsibility for the recruit’s ATOD use.   The athletics department should have a uniform, written policy to guide all members of the department and recruits through the recruiting process.

  • NIAAA Tier 3 Strategy: Informing new students and their parents about alcohol policies and penalties before arrival and during orientation periods.

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Recruitment Best Practices

  • Assess personal recruiting and hosting experiences

  • Clarify student host role and obligations

  • Hold a hosting information sessions forstudent-athletes, coaches and administrators

  • Create a list of appropriate/inappropriate activities for visits

  • Create wallet-sized recruiting information cards (emergency contacts, legal issues, NCAA rules, itineraries, alternative activities)

  • Designate a person to check that procedures are followed.

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Guiding Principles

  • ATOD messages that coaches, staff, student-athletes and others give during orientation, during the year and by their own actions are consistent for all student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers.

  • Coaching, sports medicine and other athletics staff adhere to the same standards expected of student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers.

  • NIAAA Tier 3 Strategy:Increasing publicity about and enforcement of underage drinking laws on campus and eliminating "mixed messages."

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Best Practices

  • Role of head coach as norm setter

  • Consistent messages & actions among staff and coaches

    • Making healthy choices

    • Role model on campus and in the community

    • Social network site discussions

  • Orientation messages

  • Student-athlete handbook

  • Bystander intervention

  • Lifeskills competition

  • Buddy teams

  • Late-night listserv

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Guiding Principles

  • The athletics department has ATOD policies that incorporate standards set in current federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act legislation and NCAA regulations.

  • The policies clearly define ATOD testing standards, procedures, and sanctions. 

  • They are well disseminated to all athletics personnel, uniformly enforced, and regularly reviewed. 

  • NIAAA Tier 3 Strategies:

    • Control/eliminate alcohol at sports events & prohibit tailgating parties that model heavy alcohol use

    • Refuse sponsorship gifts from the alcohol industry to avoid any perception that underage drinking is acceptable.

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Best Practices

  • Team by team policies are not effective

  • Coach driven policies are not effective

  • Policies need to be department-wide with significant student input

  • Team rules may be more restrictive than departmental polices, but not less restrictive



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Guiding Principles

  • All new student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers, and student athletic trainers participate in a mandatory ATOD education program.

  • Materials and programs are regularly available through identified resources and specifically tailored to the needs of student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers, and student athletic trainers. 

  • The athletics department participates in a peer education program designed or adapted for the needs of student-athletes.

  • Peer educators receive training and supervision from appropriate ATOD professionals in ATOD information and best educational practices. 

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Guiding Principles (Continued)

  • Coaching and sports medicine staffs are well informed about ATOD abuse prevention, especially as it relates to the athletics culture. 

  • Education programs are evaluated regularly.

  • NIAAA Tier 1 Strategy: Challenging alcohol expectancies.

  • NIAAA Tier 3 Strategy: Conducting marketing campaigns to correct student misperceptions about alcohol use

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Best Practices

  • Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) Program

    • Uses positive aspects of peer influence

      • Internal team resource, role model

      • Recognize and prevent problems

    • Peer-to-peer education

    • Front line resource

    • Student-run leadership

    • Coaches/staff support program

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Best Practices

  • Correct misperceptions

    • Marketing campaigns SPECIFIC to student-athletes

    • Formal team-based presentations

    • Large-scale programs with clickers

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Guiding Principles

  • Student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers are required to be educated about NCAA banned drugs and the products that may contain them.

  • Students affiliated with the athletics department agree not to use banned drugs and to submit to institutional testing as outlined in campus policy.

  • Student-athletes agree to NCAA drug testing during championship events and to NCAA year-round testing as approved by their division.

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Guiding Principles (Continued)

  • The athletics department complies with NCAA drug testing administrative duties and assures that compliance forms are explained and signed.

  • Effective testing for drug use relies on the existence and implementation of standards to ensure informed consent, confidentiality, integrity of the sample, reliable laboratory procedures, integrity of the report, and specified sanctions associated with positive tests.

  • Policies should be uniform for all sports and the athletics department abides by its written policies. 

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Best Practices

  • Ensure Integrity of the System

    • Athletics department

    • Collection procedures

    • Chain of custody

    • Lab

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Guiding Principles

  • Disciplinary actions related to infractions of ATOD polices are

    • appropriate to the number and type of infractions,

    • clearly specified,

    • well-disseminated and

    • uniformly enforced across all teams, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers. 

  • NIAAA Tier 3 Strategy: Consistently enforce disciplinary actions associated with policy violations

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Best Practices

  • Sanctioning provides an opportunity for education and self-reflection

  • Different sanctions may apply depending on whether the behavior was:

    • planned

    • spontaneous

    • first-time or

    • part of a larger pattern

  • Don’t abandon the athlete

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    Guiding Principles

    • Departmental polices specify the criteria for referral to treatment for ATOD concerns and the procedural issues associated with referral including timeliness, confidentiality, and expected follow-up. 

    • Counseling resources include a range of options.

    • Services are accessible and scheduling is compatible with class, practice, athletics training, and game and travel schedules, so that students can be seen in a timely fashion.

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    Guiding Principles (Continued)

    • Collegial relationship development between athletics and counseling staff contributes to a process that is sensitive to the unique athletics culture and required protocols of counseling and confidentiality.

    • NIAAA Tier 1 Strategies:

      • Combine skills with norms clarification & motivational interventions.

      • Offer brief motivational enhancement interventions.

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    Best Practices

    • Refer to clinicians to assess student’s level of use/abuse

    • Provide student with options and resources, including counseling

    • Develop formal relationships with college and community resources

      • Host meetings every year/semester

    • Ensure confidentiality

    • Follow-up

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    Saturday Morning Team Meeting

    • Review the APPLE concept and discuss the best practices presented.

    • Discuss your departmental assessment results.

    • Discuss what is already in place in your school and your athletics department.

    • Discuss areas for improvement

    • By the end of the morning, narrow your potential focus area to ONE“slice”

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    Departmental Assessment

    • The survey is based on the guiding principles for each “slice”

    • Top score for each “slice” is 100

    • Having a policy in writing will increase a score

    • Distributing the policy annually will increase a score

    • You can compare your score with the average score for your NCAA division

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    Team Meeting Questions

    • Ask students to respond first.

    • Do our departmental assessment results seem accurate?

    • What are our department’s strengths?

    • Where can we improve?

    • What are some new ideas we could implement?

    • RESOURCE: Team Meeting Game Plan & Facilitator’s Guide

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    Conference schedule

    • Educational sessions – make a team plan

    • Lunch with colleagues – get out of your teams!

    • Designate a time and place to meet as a team at 1:45 pm

    • Return to this room at 3 pm for Janet Judge’s presentation

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    Saturday afternoon team meeting: Identify an area of focus for your action plan

    • Discuss any new ideas or approaches you have learned

    • Identify where the “energy” of the group is

    • Decide on a project that relates to ONE APPLE slice

    • Begin to detail how you will implement this project


      • Team Meeting Game Plan & Facilitator’s Guide

      • Action Plan Worksheet