On June 22, 2017, the Arkansas State University Athletic Department and the ASU - Red Wolves football team and coaching staff became the first athletic program in Arkansas to host Speak Up – Speak Out, an illicit prescription drug use and substance abuse workshop that educates students of the life-threatening dangers of drugs. Over 100 players listened intently as Chief Kirk Lane of the Benton Police Department read aloud the number of drug overdose and deaths, that indiscriminately effect every aspect of American society, including student athletes. In 2016, over 65,000 Americans died from drug overdose. " You lookout for one another as teammates, now you must do the same for every one of your fellow students on campus" Chief Lane told the student athletes." "You men are our future Mayors, Police Chiefs and Community Leaders. We need you to lead." Joe Skarda, Supervising Agent of the FBI’s Jonesboro, Arkansas Field Office echoed and called out fallacies that peers sometimes use to pressure one another. Skarda said "slogans like snitches get stitches doesn’t work in 2017. These drugs are deadly.”
Coach Trooper Taylor of the ASU football coaching staff told the group of young men "this young man was your age - he was just like you", referring to William Christian Doerhoff, a student who became addicted to illicit prescription opiates while at the University of Arkansas. Coach Taylor added "you guys always want the answers to the test, well you just got the answers to the test. Now what are you going to do? What do we always say, blood doesn’t make family, love makes family and we have to look out for our brothers and our sisters. They are our family too.” Dr. Abby Wilson, Associate Athletic Director for Student Services was on hand to help answer substance abuse question for the players and direct players to campus resources if they wanted to seek help.
Scott Doerhoff, Executive Director of the William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation told the student athletes “ for any one of you who want to seek help for yourselves or a friend but don’t feel comfortable going to the coaching staff, go to Willswork.org and under Resources -Your Campus Resources, we link not only state agency help lines but also counseling services that are located on the ASU campus, outside of the ASU-Athletic Department. All any of us want is for you to be safe.” The players responded to the presentation with a renewed awareness and voiced their heartfelt sorrow for the loss of a fellow student and expressed their commitment to Speak Up - Speak Out to save a life of a friend.