“You can’t regulate integrity.”

Word comes from Greg McGarity that the SEC is considering the possibility of the conference implementing a conference-wide substance-abuse policy, with a possible vote by its presidents tomorrow.  While the author of the piece thinks the devil’s in the details (“How frequent are the tests? What exactly constitutes a positive test? Would the SEC hire an outside company to conduct the tests or leave it up to the individual schools? Would all the testing methods be identical or just the penalties?”), I’m gonna put my money down on our old friend competitive advantage as the real sticking point.

Based on the substance-abuse policies obtained by ESPN from the schools’ official websites or through public records requests, a student-athlete at Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and LSU is dismissed after a fourth positive test, while the remaining 10 SEC schools dismiss a student-athlete after only a third positive test…

… Some SEC athletic directors and coaches, who didn’t want to be quoted, think that certain schools have “competitive advantages” based on how frequently — or infrequently — they test or how many games student-athletes miss for positive tests.

For example, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi State require student-athletes to miss 10 percent of their regular-season contests after a first positive test, while the remaining 11 SEC schools don’t suspend a student-athlete for a first offense.

Punishment for a second positive test also varies greatly among league members. At Missouri, a second positive test results in only a seven-day suspension, compared to Auburn and Kentucky (suspended for 50 percent of the season) or Vanderbilt (a one-year suspension).

McGarity and Adams are the ones pushing this hard, according to the article, so you can bet this isn’t about relaxing Georgia’s drug standards to level the playing field.  So let’s just say that when I hear Les Miles play the fairness card in this area, maybe I’ll start to believe the conference is having a Come to Jesus moment on the subject.  In the meantime, it’s every school’s integrity for itself.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to ““You can’t regulate integrity.”

  1. sniffer

    Since it’s about the money, will CBS/ESPN care if 20-25 “stars” are suspended for the first games of the season? And does such a policy put the SEC at a recruiting disadvantage if the other major conferences have no such rule? Is this where we’re headed with every rule or policy change in the future?

    • mwo

      CBS usually carries the US Open tennis the first weekend of the season anyway.

    • DawgPhan

      I can totally see a day when ESPN/CBS is calling the shots on who sits and when they sit. These administrators have proven time and time again they are incompetent and that the TV execs are calling the shots. At this point I would not be surprised to find out that ESPN didnt make sure that Cammie Cam was playing each saturday.

  2. cube

    I would hate to see that happen. But if it does, maybe the UGA administration will adopt an even tougher “zero tolerance” policy (1 strike and you’re out) so that they can stay up on their moral high ground and whine when other programs win the championships. I would hate to see that tradition dropped.

    But if that tradition does go away, at least we’ll still have the balance sheet/profit margin talking points.

  3. DawgPhan

    also the whole weed thing is at its end anyway…soon enough it will be legal most everywhere…sure the south is going to fight tooth and nail, but most people dont care about smoking pot…less and less real jobs drug test on any consistent basis and the intolerance of it just seems more and more out of touch with reality.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      “Pot smokers can be fired even if it was used for medical purposes and off duty. While marijuana use is legal in Colorado, appeals court says pot smokers can still be fired because the drug is still barred by federal law.” So its a little bit more than Colorado “signing some papers” declaring it legal.
      I don’t know what industry you work in…. but unless you are running a recording studio or work in moving pictures you are gonna be tested. Mexico is raising all kinds of hell about our drug law bidness. Their politicians gotta right to get paid bro. ;-)

      • Joe Schmoe

        I have worked in professional services for 10 years with a $100K+ / year job. I have never been drug tested by any of my employers.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          You win. I reached. I probably might not have the need to test you if your worked for me. On 15 million dollar apartment complex project we test. Now, not so long ago, on this blog, an accountant told the story of hitting the bong around tax time. Routine. OK. Gotta relax and do your job. Roofers don’t make a 100 large but make no mistake they are well paid. And I don’t want them stoned on a four story rooftop. Workman’s comp and insurance premiums are a bitch. The accountant can get a pass cause if he f’s up no one dies…. unless the IRS is involved, but I digress. ;-)

  4. Dog in Fla

    “Drug testing in SEC hot topic”
    By Brett McMurphy | ESPN

    “The school’s substance-abuse policies are for recreational drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine and Ecstasy.”

    Who wants to party with Brett? No one could have predicted that “recreational drugs” would include smack, coke and a synthetic drug with effects similar to meth and mescaline along with weed.

    • 69Dawg

      +1 With the exception of MJ none of those are recreational unless you are a dope crazed hippy.

      • Cojones

        Agreed. This is why ignorance abounds concerning mj. It’s grouped right in with the addictive hard stuff without a thought of scientific or addictive differences.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Recreational means that they are for “fun” as opposed to medical or performance enhancement. Last I checked, heroin doesn’t make you play sports better and has few medicinal benefits.

  5. DawgPhan

    Isn’t the whole drug testing thing though based on the fact that MJ stays with you much much longer than those other drugs…basically you would have to be high when testing to test positive for any drug other than MJ.

  6. Debby Balcer

    I hope this help get rid of the THUGA taunts. I hope the rest of the conference joins us, KY and MSST.

  7. pantslesspatdye

    I guess the Auburn 50% rule is what triggered some to say: “They can’t do nothing about the spice”

  8. theconstitutionalbully

    These guys are kickin’ *ss on the field. Letem smoke for Gawd’s sake!!! Next we can watchem playin’ drunk

    • The Lone Stranger

      I like this cat’s style. What say we break down these barriers between the humble fan and his/her lauded sporting hero, creating what could only be termed a Free-Range Hedonism.

    • 81Dog

      thanks for your input, Mrs. Crowell.

  9. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Sounds like a compromise is in the works to me. Something less than what we do but more than what others do. I hope part of the compromise is NO SUSPENSION for a first offense. Even a dog gets one free bite.

  10. Lrgk9

    Any way we can get a change to the some of the Michael Adams silliness is good by me.

  11. Bulldog Joe

    A camera was there to capture the other SEC schools’ reaction to UGA’s presentation…

  12. Cojones

    Personally, a mirror policy between teams meeting in the arena would seem helpful to me, i.e.; we use the less stringent rule between the two schools for the same offense. If Clemson’s drug policy for first offense matches ours, then J H-C will have to sit. That shared policy would be considered for every game a player may be penalized.

  13. Bulldog Joe

    The SEC did the right thing and rejected taking on responsibility for enforcing drug testing for its schools.

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/05/sec_again_tables_conference_dr.html