Southeast MO State University requires random drug tests for ath - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast MO State University requires random drug tests for athletes, including spirit squads

After the sudden death of a cheerleader, leaders at the University of Louisville have decided to change their drug testing policy. After the sudden death of a cheerleader, leaders at the University of Louisville have decided to change their drug testing policy.
It's a policy that is similar to the one some colleges, including Southeast Missouri State University, already have in place. It's a policy that is similar to the one some colleges, including Southeast Missouri State University, already have in place.
Senior Redhawk cheerleader Amy Swartzbaugh said especially after hearing what happened in Louisville, she's glad for the rule. Senior Redhawk cheerleader Amy Swartzbaugh said especially after hearing what happened in Louisville, she's glad for the rule.
Martin said the NCAA randomly tests 10 or 15 athletes once or twice per year. Martin said the NCAA randomly tests 10 or 15 athletes once or twice per year.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

After the sudden death of a cheerleader, leaders at the University of Louisville have decided to change their drug testing policy. A 22-year old cheerleader died in July of an overdose of heroin, amphetamines, and Xanex.

Now, school leaders are changing the drug testing policy to include spirit teams.

It's a policy that is similar to the one some colleges, including Southeast Missouri State University, already have in place.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association requires athletes to undergo random drug testing. However, that does not include cheerleaders or dancers. That's why Southeast put the extra policy in place. The institution's drug testing policy treats cheerleaders the same as any other athlete.

"The cheerleaders really engage the crowd, you know, try to get them excited about what's going on,” Southeast Cheer Coach Kodie Bennett said.

Bennett said dancers and cheerleaders, just like the players, represent the school on and off the field.

"They're recognized a lot by the community, in and out of uniform,” Bennett said.

That's why Southeast athletics doesn't tolerate drug use, and that goes for cheerleaders too.

"They are eligible to get tested,” Athletic Trainer Amanda Martin said. “We treat them the same as we treat any other athlete."

Martin said Southeast tests eight to 10 female and eight to 10 male athletes randomly every month.

"Our policy is a two strike policy. One test positive, then you're on every test. The second test, you are removed from athletic competition," Martin said.

It's not only Southeast that doesn't exclude spirit teams from testing. According to Southern Illinois University cheerleading policies, Saluki cheerleaders are also subject to random tests.

Senior Redhawk cheerleader Amy Swartzbaugh said especially after hearing what happened in Louisville, she's glad for the rule.

"I didn't know her personally obviously, but I know that if it were any of my team members or a dancer, or any other sports player that it would really hurt us personally and the community and the school,” Swartzbaugh said.

Martin said the NCAA randomly tests 10 or 15 athletes once or twice per year. The national requirements don't include cheerleaders or dancers.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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