There was quite a bit of chatter amongst Pac-12 fans, including UW fans, about the recent story in ESPN the Magazine about the use of marijuana amongst college football players, including the University of Oregon.
From the story ...
Situated in the lush Pacific Northwest, Oregon, as well as its southern and northern neighbors, California and Washington, are three of the country's largest producers of weed, earning the Drug Enforcement Agency's designation as an "M7 state," or a primary cultivator of marijuana. Perhaps because of the state's location, Oregon residents have long shown a tolerance for the drug. In 1973, the state was the first in the country to decriminalize possession for small amounts of pot, and 25 years later, Oregon became one of the first to legalize medical marijuana and now claims more than 55,000 card-carrying patients.
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Nowhere is Oregon's laissez-faire approach to marijuana more apparent than Eugene, the state's counterculture and cannabis capital. "Business here is almost overwhelming," says a student-dealer who lives on -- no joke -- High Street. "Here, everybody smokes." Not surprisingly, The Princeton Review and High Times both have ranked the University of Oregon among the most pot-friendly schools. Another telltale, anecdotal sign: Into the 1990s, the Grateful Dead made Autzen Stadium a regular tour stop. "It's the weed capital of the world," says former Duck Reuben Droughns . "Long dreads. Girls with hairy armpits. Where there's hippies, there's weed."
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.I think most people familiar with college athletics and college in general don't raise an eyebrow to this story. There is some thought that this might push for the NCAA to come in and investigate. The NCAA is already investigating the program for stuff that would be far more hurtful to the team's future. This is far from a big issue to the NCAA. Is it good to be associated with rampant marijuana use? No. But come on, let's be honest. We all know it happens at every school in the country, even the one you went to. Believe me, I'd gladly be happy if rampant marijuana use was the only problem at University of Montana.
Oregon's AD Rob Mullens released a statement on the team's drug policy ...
“Student-athlete welfare is of the utmost importance to the University of Oregon. Similar to many college campuses wrestling with the same issue, the University of Oregon actively works to address potential use of any illegal substance through a combination of education, prevention and enforcement activities. Student-athletes at the University of Oregon are tested for illegal substances to the full extent possible under existing Oregon state law, which prohibits random testing. We continue to work diligently to educate our student-athletes on the harmful impact of illegal substances. In addition, we have articulated our illegal substances policy to our student-athletes and have clearly defined sanctions for a positive test.”
Here'sa blog post and poll
from the Oregonian about the situation.
Cal: Head coach Jeff Tedford decided to have an official spring game. ... the Wall Street Journal on-line site takes a look at the financial gamble the school is taking with the renovation of Memorial Stadium.
Oregon State: Here' s a quick blog post and links from Lindsay Schnell.
Washington State: Here's a recap of Christian Caple's WSU chat.
Arizona: Rich Rodriguez taught his players how to coach and supervise their summer drills.
USC: the pressure is now on for Lane Kiffin writes Scott Wolf. Below is a radio interview with Skyline's Max Browne, who committed to USC.