I am a full-blown, lifelong Gamecock. I’ve lived in South Carolina for all but 1 of my 42 years here on Earth and from my earliest memories I’ve been embedded with Gamecock principles. On a regular basis I read this blog and find the insight and opinions to be well thought and very well written. I’ve never had the courage (or time) to put together a meaningful or worthwhile written opinion. However, it is here that I wanted to try my hand at this craft to see if I can measure up to those before me.
I have stewed for several weeks over the revelation of the Isaiah Crowell (University of Georgia running back) suspension for 10 percent of the Georgia Bulldogs competition dates or what turned out to be the entire New Mexico State game. As the news unfolded about the suspension it became clear that Crowell and 2 other players tested positive for marijuana and that was the basis for the one game suspension. What I really seem to be at odds with is the lack of concern or interests in the actual use of an illegal drug. Most, if not all of the focus, was on what appeared to be the timing of the announcement of the suspension. There were reports that the positive test results were allegedly known by Georgia Administrators before the Georgia/Florida game. However, they waited until the week after the Florida game to make the announcement so the suspension would keep the players out of the New Mexico game, not the Florida game. Most schools athletic departments or student athlete handbooks have adopted some kind of policy that ends with “…and the use of alcohol, drugs and/or academic issues will result in a suspension.” Before I get too wrapped up in my own conservative approach I will admit that many people in the United States have long felt that marijuana is not a dangerous drug. Those same people consider it no more dangerous than a Budweiser or Miller Lite. Maybe so, however to set the record straight, I am not a proponent of legalizing marijuana. In my book it’s an ILLEGAL drug and there isn’t much that can be done to convince me otherwise. If you’re 21 or older you can LEGALLY possess and consume alcohol (within the bounds of the law). Under no circumstances can you LEGALLY possess or smoke marijuana. Where’s the outrage that 1 of 3 or all 3 players on the Georgia Football team sought out and succeeded in purchasing illegal drugs? Why didn’t coach Richt tell his players “Tell the authorities where you got your dope or else….?” Why is there not an outcry of support to not only send the message that any illegal drug will not be tolerated but if you fail to cooperate with the authorities you’re off the team too? In our own criminal justice system we punish those who possess (which leads to use) and those who sell marijuana as well. In my own comparison I thought about Steven Garcia and his debacle. Here’s a guy who was kicked off the Gamecock football team for supposedly drinking alcohol when he agreed not to. He was able to legally possess and consume alcohol yet he was dismissed for failing an alcohol test that otherwise he could legally possess and consume. In retrospect I’m sure the student athlete handbook intended to keep 18 – 20 year olds away from illegal possession or consumption of alcohol, not Steven at this point in his life. Coach Spurrier has shown his own distaste for illegal drugs saying good-bye to Demetrius Summers in 2005 but only after repeated failed drug tests. It just seems that administrators should be focused on more than publicizing that they “Handled” a positive drug test with a suspension from a football game and “He’s learned a life lesson” (Right?). What about the parents of the other Georgia football players who abide by the student hand book and Georgia State law who don’t test positive for illegal drugs? Why are they not asking if Crowell is trying to sell or introduce their kid to marijuana? Why are the Georgia Athletic administrators not saying “Crowell has been suspended for testing positive for marijuana. AND he or the others will not be reinstated until the authorities have located and held accountable those responsible for providing Crowell and his teammates with the marijuana found in their system?”
As it turns out this seems to be more of a rant than a well thought out post on the blog, but am I in a minority here?