View Full Version : SEC teams' penalties for drugs not created equally

06-02-2012, 02:24 PM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) Players testing positive for marijuana in the mighty Southeastern Conference do not face the one-year suspension that comes from getting busted by the NCAA.

In the most successful league of the BCS-era, players routinely get third, fourth and even fifth chances before they're booted from the team; failed drug tests administered by the NCAA result in the automatic suspension.

The finding comes from an Associated Press examination of the drug policies at 11 current members of the SEC. Vanderbilt, a private institution, declined to make its rules available.

All the SEC schools the AP looked at had far more lenient drug policies than the NCAA, though the penalties varied widely.

The NCAA conducts its own drug checks and leaves testing policies to the schools, but the governing body released a report in January saying that more than a quarter of college football players admitted in 2009 that they smoked marijuana in the previous year.

Just how many suspensions for recreational drug use are handed down in the SEC or any NCAA-affiliated conference is unknown because privacy rules prohibit schools from disclosing positive tests. They're not even required to tell the NCAA.

However, several SEC standouts have been in the news recently

In the meantime, schools are left to handle situations.

''The issue is to make sure that our institutional drug testing programs are adequate,'' Slive said before the meetings. ''This is something that comes up on a regular basis.''

Athletes at Georgia and Auburn who test positive for marijuana a second time face the prospect of losing half their season to suspension.

Arkansas and Florida, by comparison, suspend athletes for 10 percent of a season for a second positive.