Foundation Updates

Foundation Updates

June 2020: “Are Students Aware of Campus Amnesty Policies and Protections They Offer?” presented at Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Scientific Conference 2020

Our team, IPAHW and Prevention Strategies, presented research at the annual RSA Conference. This research is the result of a survey that we funded and was distributed thru My Playbook, an NCAA Sports Science initiative, at college campuses. This study looked at student-athletes as a sub-group who tend to engage in more risky drinking behaviors and could benefit from the protection of amnesty policies if they were to call for help on behalf of another student/teammate in a medical emergency. The results validate our initial survey results that students are not clear if their school has an amnesty policy, how it provides protection, whether the policy even applies to student-athletes as well as if it would be honored by an Athletic Dept/Coach.

Change can only happen if we continue to raise awareness of these critical matters, develop better implementation of prevention strategies and advocate for policy change.

RSA works closely with NIAAA, the largest funder of alcohol research in the world and one of the institutes making up the National Institute of Health.

May 2020: Initial survey research published by Journal of American College Health

These results came from our initial survey conducted in early 2018. This research studied the relationship between medical amnesty policy awareness and expected consequences of bystander help seeking, including how these consequences differ for student-athletes vs non-athletes. The results confirm that there’s a general lack of awareness of medical amnesty and that students, even when they are aware of such policy, are still afraid to call for help, especially student-athletes.

Here’s the abstract to the research. If you’d like to learn more about this study, pls contact

March 2020: Foundation presents at the Naval Academy

We were invited to speak to the sophomore class at the United States Naval Academy. We shared McCrae’s story, raised awareness on Jansporting/Backpacking and Medical Amnesty as well as reviewed our research results on bystander behavior for student-athletes vs non-athletes. It was a honor to be invited to speak to these fine young men and women! We received positive feedback from many students!

March 2020: Recipients of 2020 McCrae James Williams Scholarship announced

We are excited to announce that Tripp Clark (St John’s Prep/St Lawrence University) and Georgia Parker (Framingham HS/Merrimack College) are the 2020 recipients of the McCrae James Williams Scholarship Award! They will each receive a check in the amount of $2,500 for college tuition and/or expenses.

The Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee felt that Tripp and Georgia best demonstrate McCrae’s same love of the game, passion, dedication, love for his team and friends as well as a sense of community. The Committee is made up of McCrae’s friends who rotate into the position annually.

We will introduce both recipients at the 2020 MJW Memorial Lacrosse Tournament held the day after Thanksgiving at Noble & Greenough School in Dedham.

January 2020: Foundation presents at NCAA’s Sport Science Institute East/West Coast Conferences called APPLE

The Foundation was honored to be a guest speaker at the NCAA’s Student Health and Wellness Conferences (APPLE) in January 2020 on both the East Coast and West Coast. The Foundation and the UNCG team presented McCrae’s story and the survey research in an effort to raise awareness of Jansporting as well as to advocate for student-athletes to be apprised the same rights as non-athletes with regard to an institution’s Medical Amnesty policy and not be overridden with punishment personally or as a team if a student-athlete makes an emergency call for help. Our presentations were very well-received. Students, Athletic Admin and the NCAA felt that we have raised critical issues about student-athlete bystander behavior.

Early 2019: Foundation partners with Institute to Promote Athlete Health and Wellness and Prevention Strategies

We are excited to have partnered with IPAHW and Prevention Strategies at UNC Greensboro! They felt that our first survey results highlighted student-athlete research and bystander behavior that hadn’t been really looked at to date. They agreed that there is room for improvement and better prevention strategies that could be implemented nationally as well as advocating for change with NCAA to recommend a policy to college institutions nationwide that athletes should be apprised the same rights as non-athletes with Medical Amnesty.

2018: Survey research and Coaches Forum

We created a survey distributed thru social media to explore students’ awareness of medical amnesty, Jansporting and bystander behavior. We had about 1200 respondents and athletes were 3 times less likely to call for help than a non-athlete. Jansporting, a relatively new phenomeno of backpacking a friend who appears drunk and laying them on their side in the misguided belief that it will help, is rampant.

We also held a Coaches Forum to get feedback on our Foundation Mission as well as to gain a better understanding of what coaches understand about Medical Amnesty and if they are honoring it or not. We learned that coaches feel that they are in a very difficult position, caught between the best interests of the student-athletes’ health and wellness and the administration/Athletic Director. Many of them were not even sure what medical amnesty was nor if their schools had a policy. They agreed that there is an issue and that students should have the same rights as non-athletes; however, they recognize that there is a disconnect between the administration and what’s the right thing to do. The feedback was excellent and we will use this as a basis to further our research.