Home > Drug Testing, Performance Enhancing Drugs > Will Drug Testing be Required in the SEC?

Will Drug Testing be Required in the SEC?

SEC footballThe possibility of the SEC Conference implementing a conference-wide substance abuse policy is being discussed among presidents, athletic directors and coaches.

A vote will be implemented on Friday, May 31st, and if passed will make the SEC the first conference with this policy in place for its athletes.

Penalties for a positive test results will be implemented equally across the conference instead of determined by each individual school.

While it’s not definite that the presidents of the SEC will have enough support to bring it to a vote, the fact that this is such a hot topic is significant in itself.

It seems as though the primary goal of those rooting for this policy is consistent policies amongst the schools.

The schools’ current substance abuse policies look for recreational drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. However, the penalties are now determined by each individual school and are much different in some cases.

Testing for performance-enhancing drugs is conducted by the NCAA with consistent penalties for each university. If a student-athlete tests positive, they are suspended for a year. If they incur a second positive test, they lose all eligibility.

The punishment for a positive test is only the beginning of what SEC presidents need to agree on. Other policies could include how frequent testing is done, what constitutes a positive test, where testing takes place and what methods are used, etc.

Currently, some schools have much more strict policies than other schools and some coaches like handling their own.

This is the 2nd consecutive year that a conference-wide substance abuse policy is being discussed at SEC spring meetings.

While coaches are showing concern for the athletes and making education and counseling a large part of their school’s substance abuse programs, it seems as though consistency is the underlying issue.

So what is the optimal route here? Should individual schools handle their own or should the SEC handle each athlete the same? Will we see big changes across all conferences in their substance abuse policies in the future?


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