Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Heart of the Matter

There's been a lot of speculation that Georgia's running backs were actually given the drug test they failed before the Florida game, and that the results were in before Saturday. That would mean the coaching staff decided to wait until after the annual showdown in Jacksonville to release the results and carry-out the suspensions. That would make sense, with this week's opponent being New Mexico State, a game that's much more survivable without a full roster than a conference tilt. Now, there's no proof this is the case, it's just been speculation and rumor, but if it is true, could anyone blame the staff? I'd imagine every D-1 coach would do it the same way. I think it would be more egregious if there was a uniform drug violation policy, but there's not. At least UGA administers there own tests at multiple times a season - many programs wait for pressure from the NCAA - and UGA's in a small group of schools who actually punish first time offenders. There are many schools who do not punish first time offenders at all - ten of them are in the SEC. As a matter of fact, only Georgia and Kentucky hand out first-time offense suspensions.* So, if they did wait, it doesn't seem that important since nobody truly seems to care about the issue anyway. It takes a special kind of homer to blindly defend players at every turn, but it's also a pretty rare breed who criticizes the way one team doles out punishments when their school doesn't even consider the offense a problem.

Me? I couldn't care less about minor drug/alcohol stuff. I don't have much patience with big stuff like sexual assault, domestic abuse, blatant improper benefits, felonies, etc. - but college kids are college kids. I hope they learn from this, keep their heads on straight and reserve the weed for winter and spring. I mean, c'mon, guys, it's a college town; just abuse alcohol like everyone else. And, if rival fans are going to continue to go after Richt's handling of the situation, we should just change our drug test/penalty policy to one more like their school has - none.
* Along with Georgia and Kentucky, Miami, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, and Baylor are the only BCS schools who have any punishment for a first-time drug offender.

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