1/10/2015 update: UO to lose federal funding for leaking student-athlete drug test results:
Just kidding. While Rob Mullens argued he couldn’t tell the campus about the basketball rape allegations because of federal student privacy laws – even with names redacted – apparently he’s got no problem plastering the names of the players who failed a pot test all over the internet, with serious damage to their career prospects.
So why isn’t it a FERPA and HIPPA violation for the athletic department to publicize drug test results, be they with an ehrlich test kit or any other kind?
1/9/2015: Are Randy Geller and Rob Mullens to blame for Darren Carrington missing the big game?
Apparently UO student-athlete Darren Carrington has tested positive for marijuana, and the NCAA has suspended him from Monday’s big game.
You might ask why test Duck pee for pot? It’s not a “performance enhancing” drug. The IOC, for example, recently raised their testing threshold to 10x the previous level. It’s legal or nearly legal in most of the US, it will soon be legal in Oregon, and the 4th Amendment could not be clearer:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
These drug tests are all about public relations. Back in August 2011, Duck cornerback Cliff Harris was busted for driving 118 MPH after “we smoked it all”. In April 2012, ESPN published a story on widespread weed use by Duck athletes. Bad publicity. At the time UO tested for performance enhancing drugs, but not pot.
So in September 2012, Duck athletic director Rob Mullens and UO General Counsel Randy Geller snuck through an Oregon Administrative Rule change, and began random testing of his players for marijuana use. The faculty, led by Senate President (and noted composer) Rob Kyr and IAC Chair (and noted music professor) Brian McWhorter fought back against this new policy and the lack of due process in adopting it. General Counsel Randy Geller responded with a nutso email, with an implicit threat of a defamation lawsuit:
Dear [Senate President Rob Kyr] and [IAC Chair Brian McWhorter]:
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.
Randolph Geller, General Counsel, University of Oregon
The Senate then made Gottfredson come to the Senate and explain what was going on. Geller refused to show. Gottfredson claimed the new random drug testing policy was not an academic matter – even though 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.
There was more back and forth, but eventually Mullens and Geller got the policy they wanted. Too bad.