Friday, September 7, 2012

Oregon's Big Mistake

In an attempt to clean up the school's image the University of Oregon is implementing random drug testing for its student athletes. It has been widely speculated that a large percentage of the football team smokes weed. ESPN the magazine did a story in April suggesting as much as 40% of the players on the roster were casual smokers. Initially the university dismissed the claims as unsubstantiated gossip, but now they're trying to be proactive. How will this affect the program?

Without question random drug testing will hurt the University of Oregon's football team. It's not just speculation it's a reality that players in Eugene partake in smoking marijuana every once in a while. Unlike other recreational drugs THC stays in your system for a month. This will lead to massive suspensions of marginal and star players. Oregon will lose depth, ranking, and games they should have won trying to fix a problem that won't go away.

Smoking weed is part of the culture in Eugene. The negative connontaiton older generations associate with the drug simply doesn't exist. Today's kids would rather smoke weed than drink and can't understand what all the fuss is about. They don't subscribe to the Reefer Madness ideology or the just say no policies of the 80's. The fact of the matter is a large demographic of the population shares their perspective.

From a football standpoint the ramifications of random drug testing will be epic. Over the past few years several players have been suspended without the new policy so imagine how drastically that number will increase with the new system in place. You'll see a top 5 team fall to complete mediocrity in a short period of time. The biggest mistake a university can make about its student athletes is denying the reality of a situation. If your players smoke weed don't pretend it's not happening. Unfortunately for Oregon they are in for a rude awakening once those urine samples start turning up positive. Oh well, they almost made it to the top.

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