TitleAthleticsTraining Center Staff Request Date2012-11-29
RequestorPeter Fields Phone406-994-4226
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts  
Proposed Dates Start: 4/1/13 End:  
MSU Athletics proposes the addition of four full-time staff members to the Athletic Training Room. Using National Athletic Trainers Association resources, it is determined that appropriate coverage for MSU Athletics would require 7.48 athletic trainers. Currently there are four.

Additional staff would provide better health services to our student-athletes. They would allow for proper coverage of athletes during training and competition sessions and increase the efficiency of medical treatments and rehabilitation efforts. The current staff is inadequate for the 375 student-athletes.
This proposal addresses the strategic objective of “Access” for Montana State. The student-athletes represent MSU with their performances, training and efforts. It is the ethical responsibility of MSU to monitor and support the health and well-being of the student-athletes. The Athletic Training Center and training staff are the branches of MSU that upholds this responsibility. Athletes should have access to safe conditions to train and compete and should be offered the highest grade of treatment if they encounter an injury representing Montana State. The additional training staff members will allow student-athletes to receive more individualized attention for their medical and health.

This proposal also addresses the strategic objective of “Stewardship.” MSU Athletics takes great pride in its responsibility to represent the MSU Campus and Bozeman communities with the highest form of citizenship and pride. Athletics is one of the most visible extensions of MSU to outside constituents and represents MSU at events across the nation and in televised programs broadcast across the country. It is the role of the Athletic Department to display the highest degree of class and sportsmanship possible to fully embody the MSU culture. It is also Athletics’ responsibility to operate openly, wisely and ensure public funds are used efficiently.
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries       132000      4.0 
Benefits       42240       
Materials & Supplies              
Contracted Services              
Other Operations              
TOTAL 174240    4.0 
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Annual Salary                                    $33,000

Professional benefit rate of 32%          $10,560

Total for each position                        $43,560

Total for 4 FTEs:                                $174,240

Describe the Proposal

Currently MSU employs four full-time athletic trainers to cover all 375 student-athletes and their related events, practices and competitions.  According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, MSU should have approximately 7.5 athletic trainers to cover all of the programs and athletes.   The current staff is stretched very thin as each trainer is assigned to multiple teams and is expected to be the expert on numerous student-athletes and their health/medical history to ensure proper treatment.  This is unrealistic to expect of the current staff and could lead to issues such as employee burnout or misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment for the student-athletes.

Other institutions supplement their training staffs with student trainers and graduate assistants.   MSU Bozeman does not offer any undergraduate or graduate athletic training programs to pull from and therefore is at a disadvantage.  It is difficult to attract graduate assistants with the appropriate skills, because their desired field of study is unavailable at MSU.  The training center has begun to partner with the MSU-Billings programs, but the schedule of graduates’ coursework only allows them to be available during the fall semester.  This has limited MSU Athletics to two graduate assistants on staff in the fall.  While any support is helpful, this lack of continuity can make consistent and professional care for the student-athletes difficult.

Each of the current four trainers services the needs of approximately 80-100 student-athletes.  The demands on their time are growing to accommodate not only regular season activity, but a significant increase in off-season conditioning.  There is no ‘down time’ and the trainers routinely work early mornings through late evenings,  including weekends and holidays.  The heavy workload has caused the training room to face retention issues as there has been significant turnover recently and the ability to attract qualified talent at the available salary rate is challenging.

This proposal establishes funding for four additional training staff members.  By adding trainers, student-athletes will be better serviced with professional care and experience.  This would also decrease the stress felt by current employees and could reduce turnover.  Montana State student-athletes deserve the best athletic training resources available and this additional funding would provide that benefit.

Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

Student-Athletes:  This proposal is an investment in MSU’s student-athletes.  It sends a clear message of what MSU thinks about student-athletes’ efforts and provides them with a heightened sense of belonging.  Additional training staff members would have a profound effect on student-athlete health and safety.  By having more athletic trainers available, the training center can better prevent and rehabilitate injuries.  Student-athletes’ recovery times would be sped up and medical expenses may decrease if the training staff had the ability and resources to perform more of the rehab and treatments in-house.  More practices and competitions would have adequate training coverage and therefore put the health of the participants in a better position to be monitored or attended to, should an injury happen.

Current Training Staff Members:  This proposal would also be an investment in the current training staff.  Employee burnout is common and the high turnover rate in the full-time employee positions exemplifies that.  By adding staff members, current staff would take on more reasonable workloads and possibly improve their performances.  If staff members have less student-athletes to monitor and treat, it stands to reason that more individualized attention can be given to those student-athletes.  Decreased burnout, high employee retention rates and improved performances can all lead to decreased expenses associated with employee recruitment, termination payouts and student-athlete medical expenses.

Implementation Plan

To implement this position, MSU athletics will do the following:

1)     APRIL: Develop specific job descriptions that outline specific areas of oversight and expertise needed.  Forward these for approval.

2)     MAY:  Advertise the positions on a national level to secure a qualified candidate pool.

3)     MAY & JUNE: Proceed through the search process until successful candidates can be determined and hired.

 With this timeline in mind, this process can be easily adjusted at the time a funding source is determined

Assessment Plan

The positions would be evaluated annually as required by MSU Human Resources.  Annual Evaluations would be conducted by the Head Athletic Trainer.

Additionally, annual goals will be created and assessed, in consultation with the Head Athletic Trainer and the Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance and Student Services, for each position.

If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

Per the terms of their employment contracts, these positions could be eliminated as necessitated by changes to the Athletic Department’s needs in addressing health and safety concerns.

Executive/VP: Peter Fields (