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The Student News Site of Ferrum College

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PRO/CON Commentary: Athletes Should Be Tested for Drug Use

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A Facebook group has been started to allow people to share their experiences with drug testing.

Should we be checking our athletics for marijuana use? Should we be testing our athletes and teams for drug use? Logically, the answer to these questions is a resounding yes.

There is a certain standard to which a college athlete is held as well as an image to portray. This simple fact should be enough to create an understanding of why testing for substance use is something that happens for athletes at all levels. Of course this doesn’t encourage athletes not to do it, what should be a reason for reproach when faced with the idea of using drugs is the unavoidable and concrete fact that they are illegal and banned under NCAA rules and regulations.

Marijuana, a common drug that is in some states legal to use, can result in suspension and even a ban from competing in athletics if it appears on a drug test. This doesn’t just apply to individual athletes either, entire teams can have their funding taken away and stripped of their NCAA athletics title.

These punishments are plenty reason to give the school the power to test their athletes; the school is punished for the decisions of individuals when it comes to drug use.

It goes beyond just trying to avoid punishment for the school. All individuals who make their way to a championship competition have no choice but to be tested. These tests can determine more than just eligibility–a positive test at the championship level can cost an student athlete a national title or All-American status.

And now why all this matters is because there is unofficial talk the college may drug test their athletes of their own accord during their competition season. Doing this would give our athletes the best chance at success.

Allowing schools to test student athletes on their own has the ability to do something that simply allowing drug use to occur doesn’t. It gives athletes a real incentive not to use drugs, but it can also serve as a way to give them a chance to clean themselves up before an NCAA test has a chance to occur.

Many states have made the use of cannabis and marijuana legal for medical and even recreational use. If an athlete is of the legal age and not actively competing, then it should be their own prerogative whether or they choose to partake in its use. In-season should be treated differently however. Once an athlete is competing under a school’s colors and name, thenĀ  they forfeit certain pleasures and luxuries that non-athletes get to enjoy.

It is a complete violation of the contract between the athlete and school when athletes believe themselves to be above regulations.

While as an athlete we expect the school to uphold their end of the deal and keep our best interests in mind we should hold ourselves to that same standard. The school can suffer from the poor choices of individuals, and the power to drug test in hopes of avoiding the consequences that can come down upon them is a power that should be granted and allowed.

On top of all of this as a student athlete you should also consider a final question, will using this while I’m competing allow me to perform at my fullest potential and succeed, or is it going to hold me back and harm me. The ability to perform drug tests is an essential tool for schools to help build their athletics to their full potential and create an image of what someone can be capable of in this world.

These tests aren’t meant to be an instrument of fear or some sort of tyrannical power grab to hold over athletes. Keep the tests in season use them to ensure teams are putting their best foot forward when they compete and make sure that all athletes can pass championship time testing. Again there is a contract between schools and their athletes, a contract that at times may seem unfair or one sided, but it is a contract that must be upheld for both sides to prosper and benefit. Student athletes need the schools to be able to learn and compete, and the schools need athletics for funding, and recruitment neither side survives without the other, these tests are at their core, a way to preserve the life and integrity of everyone involved.

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About the Contributor
Franklin Melton
Franklin Melton, Staff Writer
My name is Franklin Melton I am a communications major and wrestler here at Ferrum. I also played rugby and football and in my free time I play videogames and lift weights. I also enjoy collecting and reading comics.
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