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NCAA Finally Reducing Penalty Among Student Athletes For Smoking Weed

NCAA Marijuana

It was a change that was bound to happen: slowly but surely NCAA schools are lessening the punishments for student athletes testing positive for THC, the Associated Press reports. There wasn’t an immediate change, and there wasn’t one particular amendment from the NCAA to reduce the punishments–it’s just sort of happened.

From The Huffington Post:

The AP analyzed policies for 57 of the 65 schools in the Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences, plus Notre Dame.

Of the 57 schools, 23 since 2005 have either reduced penalties or allowed an athlete to test positive more times before being suspended or dismissed. Ten schools have separate, less stringent policies addressing only marijuana infractions.

The idea is that the new testing programs are supposed to give these student-athletes more opportunity for rehabilitation, rather than dismissing them from school and allowing them to fend for themselves.

While the NCAA doesn’t test student-athletes for recreational drugs during the season, they do test student-athletes before championship games. Last year, those punishments were reduced from a suspension of a full season to just a half a season. But that’s not enough, says the NCAA’s medical chief Brian Hainline says.

Dr. Brian Hainline said his organization should concentrate on busting athletes who use PEDs and leave it to the schools to deal with the rest, preferably through treatment rather than punishment.

“The most important thing that I can’t emphasize enough is that as a society, we have to make a clear distinction between recreational drug use and cheating,” Hainline said. “I really believe that they require two different approaches. One is more nuanced, and one is hard core. [source]”

It’s fantastic to see actual thought and sensibility start to make its way into the way that the NCAA punishes student-athletes. Students who are partying shouldn’t be put into the same basket as students caught knowingly cheating.

To read more on the important issue of marijuana, recreational drugs, and the effect that it can have on student athletes caught using, head to The Huffington Post.

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