NCAA Drug Testing Policy

I believe that the NCAA has good intentions in regards to their drug policy and procedures, but the system in place is largely flawed. They place a large emphasis on testing for certain drugs like marijuana and PED’s, but do not ever provide athletes with a complete list of banned substances and supplements. This causes a gray area in that athletes are advised to go through their athletic trainer when taking certain supplements, but they do not always do that and sometimes the trainer may wrongly advise them. A major problem with the testing is that it not universal from school to school or even sport to sport. The issue with schools independently having their own drug testing procedures is that the NCAA allows them to adopt their own policies, and there is no independent agency to handle results or punishment. According to an article by the Associated Press, “Syracuse was put on probation for five years and coach Jim Boeheim was suspended for nine games for violations that included failure to adhere to a drug-testing program that was deemed too confusing by school administrators”. This is am example of the NCAA not having an effective policy in place and forcing schools to try to find the solution themselves, which does not always lead to positive things.

In another article by Jon Solomon on CBS sports, he discusses when the NCAA penalized Oklahoma State for not having a drug policy in place.  One point that stood out to me was  when he said that Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder told the infractions panel “there is no question” he should have abided by “the letter of the law.” Holder said that he “mistakenly” thought he had “latitude” to make exceptions. This is the problem with the NCAA placing the responsibility on the schools and when they allow the school to have their own policy, they will feel they can do things to their own standards and punish athletes at their own discretion.