Well, in the wake of this revealing (though not surprising) ESPN report, detailing the presence of a “pot culture” in Oregon Football, the UO athletic department is adopting new rules regarding the drug testing of student-athletes. Now, testing is to be random according to a number generator. University spokesman Phil Weiler is quoted in this Register Guard article, citing the “safety of student-athletes” as the cause for concern of the testing policy.
Under the current policy, the University can only administer drug tests if there is reasonable cause.
As stated in the Register Guard article, this type of policy change requires the involvement of University Senate, which will not meet until the new school year starts. Frank Stahl, professor emeritus, believes that Weiler is “out of line,” and “the general counsel is ignoring proper procedure by adopting policies without clearing them with the University Senate.”
A public hearing for the discussion of this policy was scheduled for August, but surprise, surprise, some sensible faculty members expressed concern about the absence of students and fellow faculty. As a result, the administration was kind enough to reschedule the hearing for October 3rd. Let’s hope they can keep their fucking pants on.
This policy change evokes some interesting if not difficult questions to be answered. Indeed, it is reasonable to suggest that it is in the best interest of all around safety to have an absence “drug-addled players” (Register Guard writer Diane Dietz’s choice of words) on the field. However, is this an invasion of privacy? Be it prudent to argue that certain rights take precedence over other rights? How clear and imminent (rather, how present) is the danger of “drug-addled players” causing harm to fellow participants? And lastly, why the hell does it seem that the administration is so bent on excluding the voice of students?