2/23/2014: UO BBaller caught using a fake ID (a passport?) at Taylor’s. Coach Dana Altman desperately needs this kid in the next few games to save his season, have any chance of making the NCAA tournament, and get some bonuses to top off his $1.8M salary. We’ll see how many games he suspends him for. Maybe Mullens should do what the Russians did at Sochi and relax his THC threshold? Keep these players safe in the Courtside Apartments, doing cannonballs on the couch.
10/12/2012: A little data and theory:
- August 2011, Duck cornerback Cliff Harris busted for driving 118 MPH after “we smoked it all”.
- April 2012, ESPN published a story on widespread weed use by Duck athletes.
- September 2012, Duck athletic director Rob Mullens begins random drug testing of his players for marijuana. This raises the expected cost of smoking pot and lowers the relative cost of drinking. Players, as rational optimizers, substitute toward the cheaper good.
- UO General Counsel Randy Geller accuses Senate President Rob Kyr and IAC chair Brian McWhorter of “false and misleading” statements about his efforts to subvert the law and implement an OAR allowing random pot testing and taking away scholarships.
- People smoke pot at home, then fall asleep on their dorito encrusted couch. They drink in bars, then try to drive home.
- October 2012, Duck defensive tackle Isaac Remington busted for driving drunk.
For more, see this UO economist’s work, here:
The current study examines the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic fatalities, the leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 through 34. The first full year after coming into effect, legalization is associated with an 8 to 11 percent decrease in traffic fatalities.
10/15/2012: More on Drugs:
1) Pres Gottfredson (in his Senate speech) said the new random drug testing policy is not an academic matter. This claim is contradicted by many things. The OAR itself states:
(3) Illicit Substances. If the student-athlete tests positive for the use of prohibitedIllicit Substances, the sanctions will be consistent with the sanctions listed in this subsection. These sanctions define the least severe sanctions that may be taken after each positive test. Notwithstanding the sanctions outlined in this subsection, if thought appropriate, a student- athlete may be dismissed from the team and lose all grant-in-aid after a single positive test.
Losing all your student aid because of one positive random urine test for pot or adderall strikes me as a very consequential academic matter. I know I would have had to have been pretty lucky to have finished college under this rule.
2) In the justification of the OAR, General Counsel Randy Geller’s office said it was an academic matter:
Need for the Rule(s):
The University of Oregon has compelling interests in deterring drug use by its student-athletes. First, the University seeks to educate its student-athletes about the detrimental effects of drug use on their health, safety, academic work, and future careers. …
3) Associate Athletic Director Gary Gray told the Senate the NCAA did not require schools to do random testing for marijuana. But the GC followed the sentence above with
… Second, the University must abide by NCAA rules and uphold the integrity of its Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (Athletic Department). …
Which is a false or very misleading justification – UO does not need to adopt this policy to abide by NCAA rules. Gary Gray told the Senate that “a recent court decision, within the last couple of years,” (or something to that effect) allowed Oregon schools to to random marijuana testing, and that this was in part the reason for the rush job for this OAR. I googled that decision during the Senate meeting, it turns out the Vernonia decision was 1995: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernonia_School_District_47J_v._Acton. So why not tell the Senate the truth for the sudden rush? People should not be subject to unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. That Second Amendment principle is more important than embarrassing a football team and the NCAA by smoking a little pot. The fact that the Ducks discourage their athletes from talking to reporters about this, without approval, adds to the seriousness of this restriction of freedom.
Gary Gray repeatedly claimed that this policy was being done for the athlete’s own benefit. But we’ve seen no evidence that random testing for marijuana reduces overall drug and alcohol abuse. See below for a study suggesting the opposite.
The attempted intimidation of the IAC and Senate by Randy Geller with the implicit threat of a defamation lawsuit:
Dear Rob and Brian:
I received your email of July 24, 2012, requesting a delay in the public hearing scheduled for August 23rd, 2012. The hearing will be rescheduled for September 13, 2012. Written comments will be accepted until noon on September 14, 2012. We will similarly postpone the date the rule will be filed with the Secretary of State and become final. The rule will be filed on September 21, 2012.
Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.
University of Oregon
This is not the first time that UO’s General Counsel has used this sort of threat to try and shut up the faculty.
10/15/2012 update: Sam Stites reports in the ODE:
“I’m always interested in taking advice from the University Senate,” Gottfredson said. “But I think the question here is, ‘Is this an administrative decision?’ and I think it appropriately is so.” …
“The rule itself defines it as an academic matter, not the senate,” Kyr said. “It’s not a matter of our opinion, it’s what is said in the rule.”
My opinion? If Gottfredson wants to force the students to take drug tests without reasonable suspicion or probable cause he should at least get his facts right, and find a competent legal advisor to make his case to the Senate.
Jack Moran of the RG reports Duck player Isaac Remington only blew an 0.06 and he will not be charged.