Section 1200: Athletics

Effective: February 1, 2007
Revised: May, 2016
Last Review: May 2018
Next Review: May 2020
Responsible Party: Athletic Director and Dean of Students


Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) and illegal drugs undermine the integrity of athletic competition, which is grounded on the principal that athletic achievement is the result of individual and team ability, training and motivation. Tolerance of drug abuse by student- athletes encourages others to use drugs to equalize the competition. Drug use may also pose a risk of injury or even long-term harm to self and others. Additionally, drug use by student-athletes damages the institution in the eyes of the public. Given these causes for concern, the colleges and universities of the NAIA and Frontier Conference have undertaken a serious review of their drug education and drug screening policies. The NAIA and the Frontier Conference is are committed to deterring the use of PED's and illegal drugs by college and university student-athletes.

Policy Statement

Montana State University-Northern is dedicated to promoting and preserving the integrity of athletics. The use of PED's and illegal substances is not consistent with the goals of this university or this department and will not be tolerated.

Montana State University-Northern is resolved to support positive actions designed to assist student athletes striving to cope with escalating substance abuse problems in our society. However, we will not tolerate the use of illegal substances by our student athletes.

Therefore it is the policy of this University that the use of illegal substances during the athlete's competitive season is strictly prohibited. Use will be defined as:

  1. Drug related charges filed by any law enforcement agency.
  2. Possession of illegal substances or paraphernalia.
  3. Reliable knowledge of use or possession presented by any coach or Athletic Trainer.

Any student/athlete found to be in violation of the above will be immediately suspended from athletic competition and practice for the remainder of the season. Discipline may be mitigated, at the discretion of the Athletic Director, based on circumstances and future compliance with the substance abuse policy. Compliance may include, but is not be limited to, mandatory drug testing at the expense of the student-athlete. Student-Athlete status may be fully restored following acquittal or dropped charges.

Policy for the illegal use of legal substances (i.e., use of prescription medications not prescribed specifically to the user) will be the same as the above.

All rules established by the NAIA regarding the use of Alcohol and Tobacco will be enforced. Student-Athletes must follow all local, state and federal laws regarding the use of alcohol and tobacco. Discipline will include a minimum one game suspension unless, at the discretion of the Athletic Director, mitigating circumstances warrant reduction of said penalty.

This policy is meant to augment local, state and federal law and any existing policies required by this university, the Frontier Conference and the NAIA. Student-athletes are expected to know and follow all applicable law and policy. This policy represents a minimum required by the athletic department, it is not meant to limit standards that coaches may have within their respective programs.

When the action of the student-athlete accused of a conduct violation adversely impacts the campus community as a whole, the student-athlete will be referred to the Dean of Students. Such a referral may be in addition to or in lieu of sanctions as outlined in the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.

Every student-athlete is required to report his or her violations of the Code of Conduct to his or her Head Coach or to the Athletic Director within 24 hours of such violation. This obligation is in effect year-round, including semester and summer breaks.

Due Process Procedure

Student-Athletes may contest any disciplinary action in the following order:

  1. Consultation with the Athletic Director.
  2. Review by a panel of two head coaches, not from the student-athlete's sport, and the faculty athletic representative. Panel may make recommendations to the Athletic Director regarding the extent of the disciplinary action.
  3. Final review by the Dean of Students.

At the discretion of the panel or Dean of Students, reviews may be limited to the documented facts of the case or may include interviews with the student/athlete and others wanting to offer testimony.