Or, if you will, insert School X here _______________.
It’s not — or, it shouldn’t be — a surprise to anyone that some college athletes do drugs. They’re in college, after all. But, the issue of drugs and student-athletes is still a relevant topic and a feature by Sam Alipour of ESPN The Magazine has a rather interesting look into what could be considered a “pot lifestyle” at the University of Oregon.
It’s worth a few minutes to read the article, which isn’t a shock and awe piece at all. But here are a few interesting snippets as it pertains to the UO football team:
The joint, to which he adds a dash of tobacco to make a spliff, is typical for this student-athlete. “Bongs and pipes mean more evidence,” he says. He lights up, kicks back and exhales a dense cloud. Normally, he’d pass the spliff to one of his Oregon football teammates, but tonight he smokes alone. “Most of the guys are waiting until after winter workouts,” he says. Once thoseconclude in March, he adds, they’ll gather in clusters to partake together. About half the team smokes, he estimates. “It’s a team thing. Like video games.”
The school’s football program reflects those realities. In interviews with The Magazine, 19 current or former Oregon players and officials revealed widespread marijuana use by football players for at least the past 15 years. Former Ducks, including current pros, estimate between 40 percent and 60 percent of their teammates puffed; current Ducks say that range remains accurate.
It should be noted, though, that Oregon is doing its part to try to cut down on usage:
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.“
Pot is an interesting issue because there’s a question of how big of a deal it really is. Outside of medicinal purposes, it’s illegal; if you get busted with it, you have to face whatever consequences the law decides are appropriate; if you smoke and get behind the wheel of a car, you’re putting yourself and others at risk — same as drinking.
But it’s not considered a hard drug, and if you smoke it in your own house watching “Dr. Who” while eating a six-pack of pudding, then it’s not really hurting anyone.
I was a resident assistant in college, so I made my fair share of enemies when kids got busted for pot (believe you me, it wasn’t the best part of the job). But, they’re not living in the dorms to smoke weed. Likewise, athletes aren’t given scholarships so they can get high. They do, but they need to be prepared for the consequences if they get caught.