Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Georgia knee caps itself, again...
T Kyle King has a great article up on recently released numbers for failed drug tests. We've already touched on ways Georgia voluntarily weakens itself compared to the competitors in terms of scholarship usage. Now comes out reports that Georgia again puts itself in a disadvantage to its' competition in terms of substance abuse. Now, we here at Sports and Grits will agree with the overall idea that drugs, drugs are bad.
But compared to our SEC competition, Georgia is one of probably 3 schools who suspend on a first failed drug test (we'll assume Vandy does). And of the others, one is a guess, doesn't have an athletic department, and is a lifelong cellar dwellar, while the other views football as a month long distraction between the end of horse season and beginning of basketball season. No one in the Big We Can't Count suspends on the first failed drug test (except perhaps Northwestern, who was unreported). And no one out in the Hippie 10 does either (as you could guess from the Pac 12's new official mascot).
In fact, just two other schools we'd consider top programs have such a strict policy, Virginia Tech and Miami (and Miami may change soon with Randy Shannon out). As fanhouse notes Urban Meyer has been as strict on the 4th (half season) and 5th violation (dismissal) as Mark Richt on the 2nd and 3rd failed tests, and even that is somewhat questionable with examples like Percy Harvey and former DT Marcus Thomas being dismissed, then let back on the team for some big games, and dismissed again.
After numerous DUIs and other alcohol problems, combined with a school wide policy against underage drinking violations, Georgia is already in a much tougher spot regarding alcohol problems than its SEC brethren. Now, we are much tougher against drugs too. While we are admirably taking the high road on some of these issues such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and scholarship abuse, Georgia is once again putting itself at a competitive disadvantage against the rest of the SEC. Simply put, Mark Richt just doesn't want it as bad as his peers.
We'll close with a question for the Sports and Grits community: Is Georgia doing the right thing with it's stance on drug and alcohol use, or should we hope McGarity brings a Florida type leniency on this issue?