Drug policy and wishful thinking

Groo ponders Michael Elkon’s “unilateral disarmament” post about Georgia’s drug policy and takes it back to its roots… which is to say, Michael Adams and public opinion.

I only want to make one point in response, and it’s not to say whether the policy is good, bad or indifferent.  But it seems to me that this fact is significant:

In fact, some of the first student-athletes facing serious discipline for drug or alcohol-related incidents ran afoul not of any football team policy but mandatory University policies (see: Akeem Hebron).

This has never been Mark Richt’s shot to call (outside of calibrating whether 10% of the season means one or two games).  It’s a top down deal.  He’s little more than the faithful soldier following orders.  Expecting him to take a forceful stab at changing the policy is naïve.  That simply isn’t how things roll at Georgia.

And I think you can put dreams of a uniform SEC policy in the same boat.  This is obviously something which matters to Michael Adams.  How realistic is it to expect him to agree to water down what he’s implemented?  About as realistic as it is to expect Nick Saban or Will Muschamp – Florida’s drug policy rules are a complete joke – to agree for their schools to move much in Adams’ direction.

So you might as well live with it, Dawgnation.  Mark Richt is.

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UPDATE:  Michael goes through Groo’s post and concludes, like I do, that Georgia’s drug policy is more about Michael Adams than it is about Richt and McGarity.  That being said, I’m not sure I buy his conclusion, at least not in its entirety.

… As a result, UGA can select from better qualified students, a trend that will only increase as college tuition rises and the advantages of sending kids to in-state schools increases. Thus, UGA should be going in a different direction as compared to most of the conference. UGA should be aspiring to become like UVA and UNC: an academically prestigious school that doesn’t need to rely on the football team or the nightlife as its calling cards. That puts Georgia in a different place than the rest of the conference, save for Vandy and Florida (and I suppose now Missouri). The strict drug policy is one vestige of that difference and it might not be a bad thing. In retrospect, my initial post suffered from the flaw of just viewing UGA through a football prism without accounting for the fact that there is more going on there. Michael Adams would like for me to think differently.

As an explanation for Michael Adams’ thought process behind the implementation of the policy, that makes some sense.  The problem, though, is that, if accurate, Adams’ assumptions don’t jibe with reality.

For example, Florida is an academic peer of Georgia, yet its substance abuse policy is the polar opposite of our school’s.  I haven’t noticed that’s had a dramatic impact on Florida’s academic prestige.  (Regarding how it’s impacted the football team’s performance I’ll leave for you to decide.)  As for the academic elites and the nightlife, well, I’m a proud UVa alum and the idea that students up there didn’t party as hard because of the school’s academic reputation would come as a big surprise to most people I knew there.  Nor did I notice a step up in class in that department when I left Charlottesville for Athens.  (Although I suppose it’s possible that’s changed in the thirty years since I’ve been a student.)

I’m left with the conclusion that Georgia is stuck with a policy which can be categorized as an overreaction by (in this case) a well-meaning school president.

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29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World, SEC Football

29 responses to “Drug policy and wishful thinking

  1. frowertr

    Just another reason to loath Adams. As if we didn’t need anymore…

    With all the ridiculous rules the NCAA comes up with, why there is no universal drug testing policy I don’t know.

    • Actually, the NCAA has a drug testing policy. It’s pretty severe. It’s also a big reason why schools have their own drug policies.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        “So you might as well live with it, Dawgnation.” No, we don’t have to. We could fire Mike Adams. How has that worthless, expense account padding, POS managed to keep his job so far anyway? A Georgia State Senator got prosecuted and convicted a few years ago for doing exactly what Adams did, only for a much smaller amount–only about $10,000, but nobody ever does anything about Adams. Everybody hates him. He split the alumni base. I am friends with a member of the Board of Regents and he told me after the dust up about Dooley that when the dust settled Adams would be hustled out the door very quietly. He told me that in 2004 and the SOB is still here. We joke on this blog about firing coaches but this is no joke: FIRE MICHAEL ADAMS!!!! NOW!!!!

  2. The only question I have is one of timing: why do we have to test kids coming right out of spring break? I’m not condoning the use of marijuana and I agree with UGA’s strict policy, but a high percentage of any college student body might test positive at that time. We work their tails off all year, let’s give ‘em a break every now and then with testing. The results might still be the same after that week, but this way it almost looks like we are trying to catch a kid messing up. Just sayin’…

    • ScooBoo

      I read this on another blog, that I cannot seem to find now, But someone said that it was a team decision (players) to have drug tests performed on the entire team when they got back from spring break. If that is the truth or not I do not know.

      But true or not, I blame Bobo. : )

  3. Raleigh St. Clair

    This is one of many reasons why UGA fans need to start accepting that we will never be anything more than an above-average program.

    We are more than happy to continually put ourselves a distinct competitive disadvantages across the board.

    The drug policy is particularly special. Not ink do we suspend when others don’t, but we also administer in a manner that basically guarantees public knowledge of the infractions.

    The result? Players sit out and our public perception takes a hit, meaning potential future players have a negative impression of UGA as a potential choice.

    The UGA leadership is as bad as you’ll find in intercollegiate athletics. What a bunch of morons.

  4. Om my mega-millions wish list(i.e.the $600 billion one) was to make a conditional gift to UGA. that was premised on Adams dismissal. Put 30 million in a trust that would become University mmoney if Adams was out of the University system within 60 days of the trust being funded. That was the kind of pipe dream that makes playing the lottery(in moderation ) fun.

  5. MinnesotaDawg

    It doesn’t stop us from (loudly and publicly) lobbying for such uniformity at all the conference pow-wows and press ops, though. This is the least we could do to try to off-set the negative perception of our program that result from the mandatory suspensions and public airing of our pot “problems.” Or are we too afraid of embarrassing our conference brethren and commissioner? Morons AND pansies.

    • Oh, I agree it doesn’t stop us from yelling about the matter.

      Unfortunately, if there’s one thing Michael Adams has demonstrated, it’s that he’s not a very good listener.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Adams isn’t a good anything, particularly a good university president. He needs to go ASAP.

        • JunkYard Dawg '00

          I wish I could say you’re being a little harsh, Mayor but I’d by be more than willing to help the SOB pack his belongings and I’ll even drive the moving truck, for free- if needed.

  6. Keese

    I’m hoping this story keeps gaining steam in the national media to put pressure on the NCAA for a unilateral policy

  7. Cojones

    At least I think we’ve found the mj supplier for our area. Bad Gator! Bad, Bad Gator!

    Well, I’m off to tend the fields. It’s my answer to the illegal drugs and bricks of pot flooding in from Mexico. I think we should put’em out of business by growing better and cheaper stuff. I can’t wave the flag while in the field (it promotes helicopter crashes), but I try to as soon as I get back and wash the fertilizer off.

  8. Dawgfan Will

    Michael Adams, overreact? Pshaw!

  9. DCB Dawg

    I have a poblem with calling Mike Adams “well meaning.” I’m sure Tony Cole does not.

  10. Will Trane

    How often are the University of Georgia personnel, including the president, AD, and CMR tested? Are they after being out of town and back on campus, a social function, or any other time or reason? Are all personnel tested during a school term or yearly? I’m sure they are tested. If they fail, are they terminated or suspended for the first 4 games of the football season.

    Have no trouble testing or the timing of the tests. My complaint is the punishment. At one time I was for the game suspensions. But I changed my view on that because it is too detrimental to the program and other players
    who have susuch an investmetment in the programs.

  11. Will Trane

    For some reason the reply box fills with icons and addresses. So that last sentence has a few mispellings in it. So much for being able to express an opinion.

  12. Cojones

    I think you are too quick to blast Mike. Doesn’t he blog on here occasionally? Every one knows that Harrick and Cole were Vince’s fault. Adams told us so.

  13. Chuck

    Am I missing something, so are we complaining because we have such a strict policy against drug use? I am very proud of the fact that UGA is so strict with the policy. I do not want to be compared to the likes of Florida. It just means more when we beat these teams and do it with good clean players. I get sick of hearing other talk about us as thugs, and I am glad that this info has now come out. Its not that our program is out of hand, we are just harder on our players than anyone else. These players should get the fact that its a honor to play at UGA and not everyone get that the chance to do so. So many are turned away and denied the opportunity to play, and it has always been their life long dream play for UGA. They way that I look at it is only two players did not pass the test the rest were able to keep themselves clean!

    • I’m not complaining about the policy per se. I’m just pointing out that, given the realities of whom Georgia recruits, if you’re in favor of the policy, don’t complain about it when the kids run afoul of it, because it’s gonna happen.

      • I very much agree, my belief is that if they are not able to follow the rules then they must go. As stated before, back in the day, Russel and Dooley were both known for taking kids that wanted to play for Georgia and making them into stars. That is what I would like to see, have kids that want to play for Georgia. I do not give a crap if they are 4 star or 5 star players out of high school. Look at the past few years and it has gotten us know where!

  14. shane#1

    Suspensions and his attempts to micro-manage athletic programs are the least of my beefs with Adams. I live in Southwest Ga., you know, the “other Ga.” Adams said that he was going to make UGa the Harvard of the South. I don’t want a Harvard of the south, I want a state university that will educate young people to be the farmers and businessmen and doctors and lawyers that we need down here. Well maybe not so many lawyers. Just kidding Senator, we need them too. This and the fact that he misused funds. Just thinking about Adams has pissed me off!

  15. UGA70

    I tend to think that the drug policy for student-athletes, as it relates to game suspensions, should be applied during their “season”. For football, for example, it could be in effect from summer camp until the last football game played in that season. During the “off-season”, any infraction of the drug policy would be dealt with via early morning runs, etc., even perhaps requiring the entire offense or defense to run, as the case may be, depending on the position the culprit plays (this year Malcolm Mitchell better stay clean). Obviously, all other University policies would apply year round to all students and student-atheletes alike as well as being subject to local, State and Federal laws if applicable. To me it makes more sense to apply the more severe punishment (suspension) at or near the time the rule was broken.

  16. E dawg

    Free the weed