Don’t bogart that drug test, my friend.

You can read the entirety of Tony Barnhart’s piece on whether college football has a marijuana problem to get a sense of how ludicrous the current state of affairs is, or you can just skip to the punchline at the article’s end:

“All I know is that it is tough for some of these kids to believe they can’t smoke,” a coach told me. “The reality is that some of them grew up watching their mother smoke it every day.”

I’m not sure if that’s the funniest thing in there, or if it’s the discovery that Oregon has a law which prohibits random drug testing.


Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment

51 responses to “Don’t bogart that drug test, my friend.

  1. Keese

    I hope Barnhart runs this topic into the ground over the offseason. NCAA needs a unilateral policy.

    • If nothing else, inconsistency between state laws makes that a difficult task, unless you’re going to use a lowest common denominator approach.

      • BWD

        I suppose it may be true, but I find it hard to believe that Oregon absolutely prohibits random testing if someone were to consent, say, when they sign a scholarship. Also, couldn’t they do regular, non-random testing? Personally, I don’t care one way or another if a school tests its athletes, but blaming state law sounds a little too convenient. I’d like to see that code section.

      • Reed Rothchild

        Lowest common denominator approach would lead to more arrests in every state but CA, OR, and CO. Wouldn’t you think? A diminished fear of losing playing time for smoking combined with the overconfidence of 18-22 yr olds…I see a bunch of possession charges coming down the pike.

        Just legalize and tax it already–it’d be better for everyone but drug dealers.

      • Keese

        Professional organizations such as MLB can do it, why can’t the NCAA? Student athletes already have to abide by NCAA standards. (legal charges notwithstanding)

  2. Cojones

    I don’t get McGarity’s argument as if smoking pot is moral turpitude we have to educate players against. We test to see if a player has smoked it in the past; not testing to see if he is smoking at practice. Residual in the system doesn’t mean the player is under the influence during play. If we could detect residual alcohol in our systems days after imbibing, how would that play out toward “educating” them and suspensions?

    I think that much of the problem lies in educating administrators about mj so that we all operate in the same millenium. Educating the public toward this plant is moving faster than educating those in institutions of “higher” learning.

  3. Tommy

    So much about drug testing that I don’t understand:
    1. Why do we test for a drug that can be legally prescribed in the US? Do we also test for Xanax, Valium, etc.?
    2. Why are athletes and non-athletes on scholarship tested differently? I was on alumni and HOPE scholarships at Georgia and never once in my four years did anyone ask me to fill a cup. Football players are student-athletes, are they not? Why does our administration support a policy that targets them differently from other students?
    3. Why do we administer a test in which the results aren’t actionable? You can’t arrest someone for having THC in his bloodstream. You can’t use the results to prove possession, intent to distribute, etc.?
    4. Why are we we focusing on an inclusive variable (pot usage) to evaluate performance? For every Quincy Carter and Jasper Sanks, I can give you a Bill Walton or Michael Phelps and this will go on endlessly and take us nowhere. Why aren’t grades, weightroom stats and on-field performance the more relevant indicators of performance?

  4. ChicagoDawg

    This is an easy problem to solve. Also, my approach can achieve universal consistency. Stop testing for marijuana. Done.

    I would guess the rate of illegal, under age consumption of alcohol is far greater than the percentage of college atheletes smoking weed. Somehow, the NCAA has chosen to ignore this issue (i.e. do not randomly test for alcohol), which is arguably far more pervasive and destructive.

  5. JaxDawg

    gee, some of these young men have had great role models. Any wonder why a certain culture is completely ruined?

  6. paul

    As we’ve all said many, many times, it’s out there, it’s easily available and it’s commonly accepted despite being against the law. We’ve all been to college. We’ve all done things there that we may or may not have had to pay the consequences for. We can talk about the stupidity of the policy and its enforcement all we want. We can rail against the different standards. The fact remains. These athletes know where they are, who they play for and what the rules are. None of the other crap matters. They are fully aware they are being held to different standards. They make a choice. History shows that chances are good they pay the price. That’s life 101. Some of us are a little slower on the uptake than others.

    • Tommy

      “We can talk about the stupidity of the policy and its enforcement all we want.”

      Stop right there. If we agree the policy is stupid, then the emphasis on the violators is sadly misplaced. Rather, the focus should turn to why this policy isn’t being reviewed.

      “Because we always done it that way” has been the prime justification for history’s dumbest and most horrific policies. I would hope that’s not the guiding principal in a $100M enterprise.

      • shawdawg

        Instead of using logic, why not just go with the flow and yack about how stupid kids are?

        • paul

          We can use logic and we can work to change the policy as well as the enforcement of the policy. Until the policy IS changed, none of that stuff matters. Until such time, the athletes know where they are, who they play for and what the rules are. That’s logic.

  7. Peteydawg

    Hell, I know mark richt is a standup guy and molding young men, but if Oregon just lets the whole team puff and puff, how come we have to suspend our starters for our first or second toughest road game? Give em a Slap on the damn wrist, while telling the team next time it won’t be so light. Kids smoking weed on college spring break?!?! Omg!!!! As long as they work hard in practice and pass classes who gives a shit. Out west they don’t… Billy graham doesn’t…. Give me a damn break, it’s not steroids, it shouldn’t even be tested for on our players.

    • Peteydawg

      Sorry Chicago dawg, just read yours, ha kinda repeated. But spot on. Smoking a joint isn’t making your 40 time any faster, and I thought the point of those tests were merely for performance enhancing drugs.

  8. I am not sure we all understand the ins and the outs, let alone the what-have-yous.

    This is not Mark Richt’s policy. As far as that goes, it’s not McGarity’s either. It’s a mandate dictated from the very tip top of the university system administration. The President and the Board of Regents have decided to take a tough stance on substance abuse, both illegal and legal (like alcohol) among its entire student population. Athletes are subject to testing per the NCAA rules. Athletes at universities who are taking a tough stance on substance abuse are going to be tested more rigorously than those at universities that condone the use. Given this set of circumstances and the priority this administration has placed on the matter, the subject of whether or not UGA’s testing policy for football players is smart, dumb, or communist is completely irrelevant.

    Whether or not you think the rules are fair is completely irrelevant. Your past or current use of the drug or any other drug is also completely irrelevant. The rules are what the rules are, and they will not change until the law of the land is amended to reflect a different attitude towards use of the substance. So, complaining that we put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage compared to fine “learning” institutions like the University of Oregon is nothing more than blowing smoke up a duck’s ass… quite literally.

    I am for legalizing the substance, but I am also for abiding by the laws of this state. I expect as much from those who represent the state university and my alma mater as well (regardless of their background or what their momma did).

    • ChicagoDawg

      “I am also for abiding by the laws of this state” — Agreed, but isn’t this the role of law enforcement? Why is the University or Athletic Department fixated on helping law enforcement in this particular area of the law? Again, what about testing for under-age alcohol consumption, it too is breaking a low of the state.

      • Why not test for underage alcohol consumption? The results for such a test are extremely time-sensitive. Marijuana stays in your system for 30 days and is much easier to trace. If there was a test to detect alcohol consumed two weeks ago, I guarantee those underage on our athletic teams would be subject to it (and fail it at an extremely high rate, no doubt).

        • ChicagoDawg

          Of course, my point is the School is taking this one area of illegality to focus on whereas they could just as easily administoer blood alcohol test on any given Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning at 7AM and get a positive result on a high % of the < 21 yr olds. The whole deal is very arbitrary. Let law enforcement enforce laws and the NCAA, SEC or University should enforce rules of competetion (i.e. PEDs would be an area that is logically within the domain of rules of competition).

    • paul

      That’s logical. I agree.

  9. JaxDawg

    Senator, sorry for highjacking your thread.

    • Reeferdawg

      I know plenty of smart, well respected weed smokers. Doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc. Some I’ve seen smoking with their children (21 year old kids). The funny thing is I don’t see them as thugs. I see them as some of the nicest people I’ve met. Also the parent/child relationship that they had was one that most would envy (best friends, honest to one another, hide nothing). So before you stereotype people as thugs because they use a herb together, check your medicine cabinet. I bet you have Viagra or valume, Xanax, or some form of medication that I could judge you by too. Americans deserve better….

      • JaxDawg

        I was raised to have a beer with dad, not smoke pot like some california hippie. But I do believe that your point, which is valid, is the exception to what this post originally mentioned, and I’ll stand by that all day.

        • Peteydawg

          Lol I don’t even smoke weed, but I’m not so blind to realize drinking destroys far more lives.