Oregon Ducks Looking At Random Drug Tests


The University of Oregon is looking at a policy that would allow them to randomly test their student-athletes for both performance enhancing drugs and recreational drugs according to the Register Guard. The new policy would allow administrators to select at random, based on a number system, players to submit urine samples to be tested.

While this news is a few days old, I finally sat down to read the above linked article and pen out my feelings on it. The obvious first-thought is that it is a policy that Oregon needs. Especially, after the rumblings from ESPN and other articles around the internet which has Oregon labeled as a “recreational” drug school.

In fact, in that ESPN article estimated that 40-60 percent of the Oregon football team does recreational drugs, in season and out of season. The drug of choice is labeled as marijuana. This comes as no surprise as there were multiple instances of Oregon making national sports news with players like Cliff Harris, Darron Thomas, and Jeremiah Masoli all having run-ins with police and marijuana possession or consumption.

Oregon is looking to diminish that tarnished reputation. This new policy will be voted on August 23rd and if approved would make it so the players would have no idea and no warning when a drug test would come. I personally think random drug screenings are a good idea for all universities. Not just to eliminate recreational drugs but to help athletes that dip into steroids and performance enhancing drugs.

Most universities, UW included, have a “reasonable assumption” rule. Which basically means that if a coach or administrator assumes that you are doping, they can test you. However, most players are never tested.

For players that plan to play at the next level, getting used to playing without any sort of “edge” can only be a good thing. There are too many players from all over the country, within weeks of being drafted, that get busted for possession of some sort of illegal drug. The random drug testing will also help them get used to the professional level of “random drug testing”.

If the universities are working on eliminating this there could be far less players that have grown accustomed to this drug-use lifestyle by the time they reach the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc. Granted, this won’t eliminate it all but it may drop it a little. Take a chunk out at a time.

Oregon obviously needs some sort of structure in this department and they are working to fix that. Another school that might want to check this out soon, is Washington State. They also have had too much publicity when it comes to recreational drugs.

In reality, I think it would be good for all universities to start randomly drug testing for anything illegal. I know there are others that may feel differently. What do you think?