Special to the Record-Courier
Hiram College's ongoing efforts to address substance-abuse issues on campus and on the playing field has led a Terrier athlete being selected to play a lead role in a national conference on substance abuse sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Phillip Arnold, of Eastlake, Ohio, a sophomore defensive back on the Terrier football team, was selected by the NCAA, the organization that oversees college athletics nationwide, to introduce NCAA President Mark Emmert at the annual NCAA/APPLE Conference on substance abuse and prevention in athletics Jan. 25-27 in Indianapolis.
Arnold will also be one of several student-athletes who will moderate a panel discussion on abuse and prevention policies during the conference. Arnold will head up the Hiram delegation at the conference which will also include sophomore student-athletes Jennifer Yardas, Taylor Petersal and Samantha Hughes.
The APPLE Conferences, developed and coordinated by the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the University of Virginia, are the leading national training symposiums dedicated to substance-abuse prevention and health promotion for student-athletes and athletics department administrators. Their goal is assist colleges in promoting student-athlete health and wellness by empowering teams of student-athletes and administrators to create an institution-specific action plan.
"Substance abuse and ways to prevent it are subjects that need to be addressed on every campus," Arnold said. "I became interested when (Hiram head football) coach (Randy) Moore asked if I wanted to participate in a group called the Players' Voice Committee that deals with issues off the field."
"We have had teams going to APPLE conferences since 2005,"said Hiram head women's soccer coach Bob Dean, who serves on an NCAA administrators' committee working to curb and prevent substance abuse in intercollegiate athletics. "Because of our commitment and all we have done in the effort over the years, Hiram has a high profile nationally and the NCAA asked us to identify a male student-athlete to introduce the president (Emmert). We settled on Phil."
Dean said Hiram students have been active in addressing substance-abuse prevention, including formation of the Terrier Committee for Smart Action, a group which aims to raise awareness on campus and partners with similar groups on other campuses to develop awareness and prevention activities and policies.
Dean and Dr. Kevin Feisthamel, Director of Counseling Health and Disability Services for Hiram College, will accompany the students to Indianapolis.