Solution Proposal Lb

Luke Benge
Solution Proposal

Supplements will survive in the NCAA

Athletes in the NCAA are tested everyday with strenuous exercises, obstacles and games that require a very large amount of muscle, coordination, endurance, and drive to accomplish. These tasks that need to be conquered can almost be called unnatural to do, sometimes these athletes are considered “super human” for all of their accomplishments in the NCAA. It isn’t always what happens on the field that helps drive these athletes to be all that they can be. The usage of safe healthy supplements help push and drive these athletes to become all they can dream of becoming physically and sometimes even mentally. “Ergogenic drugs are substances that are used to enhance athletic performance.”(Calfee). The consumption of the right supplements can produce what some people call a “super human”, Bate-Alanine, Protein, pre-work out and post-work out are all healthy supplements that can provide athletes with what they need to succeed. The issue with this amazing human advancement method is that the NCAA has put a ban on most all of the supplements student athletes can consume, what is the reasoning you may ask? It is very vague, the Board of the NCAA is worried about health issues and is worried that it will make athletes too good. The thing that needs to be brought to the attention of people who support the ban is that most of the main ingredients in the supplements can be found in common house hold foods. Protein is a banned substance, but can be found in various types of meats and fish, Bate-Alanine is another form of caffeine and that can be found in anything with sugar. So if an athlete has a soda before a urine test by the Board of the NCAA he or she can come up positive because of how serious and strict the testing can be. These few supplements can be very beneficial to athletes not only in the aspect that it will make them a better athlete but also that these supplements can provide a very healthy source of energy, vitamins and nutrition. Finding a solution to please both sides, the NCAA and the student athletes can be a very difficult task, but education for student athletes about supplements, healthier pills and substances and a more understanding and lenient Board of the NCAA will all go hand in hand and work together as a solution to make supplements safe and useable in the NCAA.

In the world of athletics there has recently been an over usage of performance enhancing supplements in the NCAA, this is providing athletes with more talent and muscle then the Board of the NCAA will allow. The Board says the problem with supplements can range from making an athlete too good, to having health risks down the road in life. The problem of health risks down the road can be a very large problem to student athletes if the supplements are taken without knowing how much to take or when to consume them. “Misuse of nutritional supplements can be dangerous. L-tryptophan, for example, an amino acid used by strength-trained athletes, was associated with eosinophiliamyalgia syndrome, which caused 38 deaths.”(Herbold). Another problem that has been seen all over the radar of the sports world is over consumption of supplements, athletes do this because they think it will quicken the process of gaining muscle. The most important thing athletes don’t understand is it’s not the amount you take, it’s when you take it, what you take, and the quality of the supplements that produce the most results. “If proper precautions and supervision are provided, supplementation in young athletes is acceptable and may provide a nutritional alternative to potentially dangerous anabolic drugs.” (Biomed Central) This statement is perfect when explaining that basic education and proper safety precautions can help solve the recurring issue of over usage and unsafe supplements. The other huge issue is that the NCAA thinks that supplements will make athletes too good causing unfair competition. Athletes that over consume certain supplements like anabolic steroids can cause extremely rapid muscle growth and can be considered cheating. These problems deserve the public’s attention because health risks to our youth are a major issue, getting sick and potentially losing your life over supplements isn’t worth it. The main issues of the usage of supplements can be solved very easy, education, proper safety precautions and the board of the NCAA loosens it grip on student athletes and gives them a chance to test healthy supplements that work.

Most supplements are taken because the athletes want to better themselves physically on the field and off the field, and sometimes athletes take too much of the supplement or the wrong type of supplement which is considered a problem to the NCAA. What is causing this problem some may ask? It has to do with under education, too much of the supplement provided to our student athletes, student athletes wanting to get better and gain more muscle at a faster pace and the Board of the NCAA being too strict about the whole situation. The biggest cause of the problem is mostly just under education of taking supplements, but this isn’t just the athletes being uneducated about the situation, it’s also trainers and coaches who are just as unsure about the rules as athletes are. The reason under education is causing the problem is because student athletes in the NCAA don’t understand what to take, when to take it, and how it can affect your body. In a lot of cases the student athletes would ask trainers and coaches about what they can consume and they say exactly what they are trained to say, nothing. The board of the NCAA is tightening their grip on supplements and what can’t be taken so this is causing trainers to relay how strict the Board of the NCAA and recommends just to be safe that athletes stray from supplements. The problem with this under education is that it is forcing student athletes to guess blindly what they can and can’t take, risking their eligibility on a guess because they aren’t sure what they can take and what they cant take. Another huge issue and reason why the NCAA is so strict is because student athletes abuse the amount of supplements that can be taken. For example the biggest thing causing this issue is that companies that sell supplements make them safe, but only for a certain dosage. So what athletes are doing is buying the “NCAA safe” supplements but then over using them causing them to take too much of what isn’t allowed making it illegal. This can cause a problem because some of the “NCAA safe” supplements are safe at the recommended dosage but if taken too much this is where health risks occur. “Athletes should not assume a product is safe simply because it is marketed over the counter. All products athletes are considering using should be evaluated for purity (ie, truth in labeling), safety, and efficacy.”(Buell). This quote form this article is basically saying even though it says it’s safe for athletes it should be checked to see how pure it is. Most supplements that are recommended to athletes are safe, pure and healthy but what’s causing this problem not taking the recommended dose. Another cause to this problem of the NCAA being too strict that seems to be bypassed and not looked at is that some athletes are only into supplements just for the “gains” as some would say. This is causing a problem with over usage of the recommended dose and the NCAA being too strict because in some cases athletes just are worried about their physical appearance. This is causing the NCAA to bring down the hammer and be stricter because athletes are just doing it for a recreational purpose and not to benefit themselves for the sport they are in.

The problem is that the NCAA is being too strict on student athletes and banning most all of the supplements that can be taken to benefit yourself. What is causing this problem can range from under education, all the way to too much supplementation consumed at one time. And the solution isn’t as cut and dry as one may think. A solution that can benefit all can be as simple as better education about supplements, a very broad solution but it has very many aspects that go into it. “An in-depth mandatory drug education program generally is designed for academic credit and the purposes are drug information, awareness, precaution, intervention, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.”(Orr). This would be a great education solution to the problem, not just with street drugs but also with supplements that are banned by the NCAA. With this solution put to place student athletes would be required to take this class, and by doing so they will earn credit towards college and at the same time they will learn the rights and wrongs about supplements. In order to participate in NCAA level collegiate athletics, this course needs to be taken and passed. This would take away the under education problem and help athletes understand what can and can’t be consumed. Once this class is implemented into every NCAA division 1 and 2 college it would help take the unknown factor about supplements away from college athletes. Along with that it would help them become more educated about what they can take and the right amounts to keep their body healthy and fit. This class should be taught by athletic trainers so then they can learn the information better as well. I think an ever more drastic solution to take away all confusion about supplements is that coaches have a mandatory class about it as well at least once a month so everyone will know the ins and outs of supplements. “The Resource Exchange Center54 contains valuable resources for athletes, coaches, and health care practitioners, including an online drug-education program with accurate and confidential information about dietary supplements and banned substances. Appendix 3A provides information on Web-based safety resources for identifying potentially harmful supplements and ingredients, along with manufacturers and distributors.” (Buell). This snippet from the article “National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Evaluation of Dietary Supplements for Performance Nutrition” could be some of the education used to teach student athletes, coaches and trainers. The reason this solution should be the one implemented is because it will educate everyone, and in order to pass the class and play sports athletes will need to listen and pay attention. The class wouldn’t just teach athletes what and what not to take but it will also explain what the negative side effects can be if taken the wrong supplements or the wrong dosage, almost like a scare tactic. “The overall response rate was 64.3% with 637 of 991 schools reporting with usable data on 13,914 student-athletes.”(Green). This is giving numbers of all the schools that reported using supplements, this could be 13,914 students that take an educational class on supplements and learn how to be safe and healthy.

This day and age the usage of supplements is a very common thing to see among college athletes of all levels. “In general, performance enhancement, prevention of illness, behavior of teammates or opponents, and recommendations by influential individuals (such as coaches, friends, or family members) have been identified as the most important motives for supplement use in athletes.” (Braun). Supplements will always be used in athletics as stated in this quote, and the fact that the NCAA is so strict is causing a huge problem. Thus being because they will never be able to completely ban supplements from student athletes, so why not come to an understanding and please both sides of the spectrum? By making student athletes attended a college course about supplement use it won’t only educate them about the rights and wrongs of supplements, but this class will also allow athletes to earn college credits. The class will be mandatory and will provide all education about supplements to not only college athletes but also to trainers and coaches. This won’t exactly take away all the problems with supplement abuse, but what it will do is teach students how to be legal with the NCAA and stay healthy while doing it.

Herbold, Nancie H. "Traditional and Nontraditional Supplement Use By Collegiate Female Varsity Athletes." Traditional and Nontraditional Supplement Use By Collegiate Female Varsity Athletes (2004): n. pag. Human Kinetics, 2004. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://www.humankinetics.com/acucustom/sitename/Documents/DocumentItem/4298.pdf>

Buell, Jackie L., Rob Franks, Jack Ransone, Michael E. Powers, Kathleen M. Laquale, and Amanda Carlson-Phillips. "National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Evaluation of Dietary Supplements for Performance Nutrition." Journal of Athletic Training. The National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554028/>

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Woodland Park, CO: Biomed Central, 2007. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Creatine Supplementation and Exercise. 30 Aug. 2007. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.
<http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1550-2783-4-6.pdf>

Orr, Jason. "Should NCAA Division I-A Institutions Implement a Mandatory Drug Education Program for Their Athletes?" Should NCAA Division I-A Institutions Implement a Mandatory Drug Education Program for Their Athletes? N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/184229

Green, Gary. "NCAA Study of Substance Use and Abuse Habits of College Stud… : Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine." LWW. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. http://journals.lww.com/cjsportsmed/Abstract/2001/01000/NCAA_Study_of_Substance_Use_and_Abuse_Habits_of.9.aspx
Calfee, Ryan. "Popular Ergogenic Drugs and Supplements in Young Athletes." Popular Ergogenic Drugs and Supplements in Young Athletes. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/117/3/e577.short

Braun, Hans. "Dietary Supplement Use Among Elite Young German Athletes." Dietary Supplement Use Among Elite Young German Athletes(n.d.): n. pag. Human Kinetics. Web. http://www.humankinetics.com/acucustom/sitename/Documents/DocumentItem/16730.pdf

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