NSU AD Discusses Drug Policy In Light of SI Allegations Against OSU

Thursday, September 12th 2013, 6:29 pm
By: News On 6

From $500 handshakes in the locker room to preferential treatment in the classroom, the list of allegations against the Oklahoma State University football program is growing in a series of Sports Illustrated stories.

Now SI has added alleged drug use to that list in the third part of its five-part report.

SI says OSU coaches and staff not only turned a blind eye to marijuana use, but some coaches even joked about it with players, a claim former head coach Les Miles refuted to the magazine.

9/12/13 RELATED STORY: Part 3: SI Calls Out Drug Use By Former OSU Football Players

We spoke with a local college to see how OSU's drug policy compares.

"Issues that are happening around the country and in state, could potentially be happening on our campus," NSU Athletic Director Tony Duckworth said.

Allegations like the ones brought against OSU have forced Duckworth's Division II school to reevaluate the policies for 300-some student athletes.

"Character is a key issue with us, but we understand that some young people make mistakes," Duckworth said.

Sports Illustrated claims to have interviewed more than 40 former Pokes who played between 2001 and 2012. Most were kicked out of school or dismissed from the program for rules violations or trouble with the law. Many named in the SI story are disputing the quotes attributed to them, with some claiming they never even spoke to anyone from Sports Illustrated.

ESPN Report: Carter's Testimony To SI Contradicts University Documents

Those players reportedly either admitted to or accused teammates of selling drugs, smoking marijuana before games and even continuing to smoke after testing positive for marijuana.

The article claims OSU has an extremely lenient four-strike drug policy that has varying levels of suspension.

"I would be hard pressed into thinking [NSU] would allow that individual the latitude to continue with the program," Duckworth said.

NSU doesn't have an ironclad drug testing policy in place, but Duckworth said it reserves the right to drug test at any time. He says the NCAA randomly drug tests 18 to 25 student athletes once a year, with more random tests if a team makes it to postseason play.

A positive test results in a one-year suspension.

"That should send a strong message to the player and his teammates," Duckworth said.

The SI story claims OSU players who tested positive were sent for counseling with coaching staff who were not licensed counselors.

Duckworth said NSU players would be sent to a counselor outside the program.

"Because they are better equipped than the athletic administration or a coach that's internal," he said.

SI claimed that, at OSU, a player in counseling who was producing on the field could still test positive for drugs with no consequence.

Duckworth says schools aren't required to inform the NCAA of positive drug tests and that many schools have similar drug-testing policies.