Ducks and Drugs

In the wake of an ESPN report that — shocking! — a lot of University of Oregon football players smoke a lot of marijuana, The Oregonian reports on the school’s marijuana policy for athletes.

From the story on

“The athletic director in 2010 was former UO football coach Mike Bellotti, who, according to a former Duck who played for him, said the tendency was to give athletes as much warning as possible in advance of a test. In some cases, the ex-Duck said, as much as a month was provided.

“Another source, echoing reporting contained within the ESPN article, indicated that changed once Chip Kelly assumed head-coaching duties in 2009. The norm then became notification of the test in the evening, the test in the morning.”

From the ESPN story: “The Oregon regime is also cracking down. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Kelly has taken a hard stance in his three seasons as head coach. ‘I’ve heard weed was bigger before I got there,’ says one Kelly-era Duck, ‘but Chip cracked down on that. He’ll actually attend classes with guys. If you miss a study hall, he’ll drug-test you.’ “

The ESPN story about Oregon is a sidebar to a piece about the drug culture in college football. All of which reveals the not-surprising news that football players are like other college students when it comes to alcohol and marijuana use.

For the record, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reported that Washington state law prohibits random drug testing on athletes. This was the result of a 1995 lawsuit in which a UW cross country runner sued over random testing, and now the schools are allowed to test only when they have reasonable suspicion.

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