UT's drug-testing policy back to three strikes

Athletes will get one less chance July 1

The University of Tennessee will revert to an old policy in hopes of creating a new image for its much-maligned athletic department.

All student athletes at UT will be subject to a three-strikes-and-you're-out drug policy as of July 1, UT director of public relations Tiffany Carpenter confirmed on Thursday.

Previously, athletes had to fail four drug tests before being dismissed. Three positive drug tests had long been cause for dismissal before UT revamped its policy in 2007 and added a fourth strike for a positive marijuana test.

"There's a pretty strong record if someone makes it to the third step, they are going to end up being dismissed. Very few are able to go back," UT athletic director Mike Hamilton told the News Sentinel in January, adding that it was time for student athletes, coaches and staff members at UT do a "gut check" in regards to discipline.

Hamilton did not return messages on Thursday.

Carpenter added that UT is also considering some type of gun policy for student athletes, but there are legal issues attached to it.

The Vols have faced plenty of negative publicity over the past few months.

Football players Janzen Jackson, Nu'Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards were arrested in November and charged with attempted armed robbery.

Richardson and Edwards were dismissed. Jackson was allowed to remain on the team when his charges were later dropped.

Basketball players Tyler Smith, Cameron Tatum, Brian Williams and Melvin Goins faced misdemeanor charges after guns and drugs were found during a traffic stop.

Smith was dismissed. Tatum, Williams and Goins remain on the team.

The arrests certainly had an effect, as some prospective athletes told the News Sentinel in January that they were no longer considering attending UT because of concern about discipline, or lack thereof.

Under the old policy, athletes faced an indefinite suspension and, in some cases, in-house patient programs, and additional random drug testing after a third positive drug test.

The first positive drug test led to counseling and random drug testing. The second positive test led to suspension, further education and additional random testing.

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Comments » 95

WoodshedVol writes:

No comment.

CRFVols writes:

Bout' time. 4 strikes was crazy I think. I'd be fine with 2.

nocleats writes:

If you know when your first tes is going to be given, no reason to fail it.

nocleats writes:

test, sorry

RoadTrip writes:

in response to CRFVols:

Bout' time. 4 strikes was crazy I think. I'd be fine with 2.

Better, but, I am with you - two is plenty. They need to decide what is most important in their lives. These student athletes represent their families, friends, university and the Volnation. Let's help them along with their decisions.

ghstmn46 writes:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

Skibum165 writes:

They get the boot at failed test #3. I'd like them to get the hammer at failed test #1.

ghstmn46 writes:

Do they drug test sports writers?

ghstmn46 writes:

in response to Skibum165:

They get the boot at failed test #3. I'd like them to get the hammer at failed test #1.

Have you ever been drug tested?

tomkats3242 writes:

Here we go again. Mike Hamiliton needs to be fired. He is not going to enforce any rule that would cost UT money. All he cares about is the cost of tickets, how many he sells and how much he can raise. It does not matter what type we get to play ball as long as the money comes in. Here is a note. NO MORE MONEY UNTIL MIKE IS GONE.

volsn3 writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

The most pathetic post that has ever been said....EVER

tomkats3242 writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

You are probably a pot smoker. Everyone should care. These kids are getting a FREE education and a lot of benefits to play ball. They should be held to a higher standard. When and IF you become an adult you will understand.

dk writes:

I can tell from some of these posts that several of you would fail the tests too. Believing that it is ok to do drugs is only a small portion of what is wrong with America today.

Go Vols. Test'm often.

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

It is definitely the school's business if their students, who are not only getting a free education but are very much in the public eye, are responsible people who know how to respect and follow the law...regardless of their opinion of it. Irresponsible, disrespectful (aka immature) players only hurt the program and the university...and themselves.

Weatherman writes:

in response to dk:

I can tell from some of these posts that several of you would fail the tests too. Believing that it is ok to do drugs is only a small portion of what is wrong with America today.

Go Vols. Test'm often.

Well said.

Bogytrain writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

This isn't a crazy statement or a stupid post. This is correct. Weed isn't a performance enhancer, who cares if they smoke it??? Smoking weed, pounding a 6-pack, what's the difference?

Steroids or guns, throw 'em off the team. A little weed? WHO CARES!!!

vol94 writes:

in response to Bogytrain:

This isn't a crazy statement or a stupid post. This is correct. Weed isn't a performance enhancer, who cares if they smoke it??? Smoking weed, pounding a 6-pack, what's the difference?

Steroids or guns, throw 'em off the team. A little weed? WHO CARES!!!

Mabye because it is AGAINST THE LAW!!!!

Alcohol is legal while weed is against the law
the last time I checked.

Bogytrain writes:

in response to vol94:

Mabye because it is AGAINST THE LAW!!!!

Alcohol is legal while weed is against the law
the last time I checked.

It's against the law to break the speed limit.
Should we through Tatum off the team for his speeding ticket?

volfaninutah writes:

There shouldn't be any strikes!!! These are supposedly young men that have a tremendous opportunity to make something for themselves. If they don't have the discipline to abstain from illegal drugs.. they don't belong period!!!

cdldoc#211897 writes:

Do they test people on this site for alcohol abuse?? Which kills more athletes, pot or alcohol?? Alcohol is the most destructive drug society uses.

Halls3 writes:

I say they go with the policy they do to the students at UT. Drug charges equal an automatic explusion. What's good for the average student should be good for the student athlete who gets paid, yes paid b/c the scholarships they get pay tuition, fees, books, room & board, & give a little extra spending along with the free clothes and stuff for being an athlete. I believe this should go to all schools to cut this phooey out. But then again, I believe a drug test and background check should be required during the recruiting as well.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

Do they test people on this site for alcohol abuse?? Which kills more athletes, pot or alcohol?? Alcohol is the most destructive drug society uses.

Yes it is cdldoc and that is a fact!

ResilientVol writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

your a idiot

ResilientVol writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

Do they test people on this site for alcohol abuse?? Which kills more athletes, pot or alcohol?? Alcohol is the most destructive drug society uses.

thats just flat out not true

OrangePride writes:

I can live with the "three strikes and dismissal" policy, HOWEVER, I would also like to see a very severe penalty for the second strike....perhaps a suspension of up to 1/3 of the season....which would be 4 games in football. These atheletes are well aware of this rule and just why it is such an important one. If they violate it, it is with the full knowledge of the consequences and a second infraction, to my mind, is a serious matter that should be responded to in a very significant way.

OrangePride writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

Do they drug test sports writers?

Perhaps not........but luckily for you, they don't test bloggers on this site. Given the total lack of intelligence in your posts, I'm certain you wouldn't pass!

MidTennVol writes:

And herein lies our problem, folks.

Message to kids, potential student-athletes at UT:
you can smoke pot at UT, no problem. We have a very modern and open-minded policy about that. Just don't get caught three times. And you're really stupid if you do get caught three times (wink, wink / nudge, nudge).

I would kick these kids off ANY UT sports team if they failed a second drug test. They would lose their place on the team and their scholarship. On this issue for privileged students, I believe in second chances but none after that.

VolGraduate writes:

The only drug test should be immediately before practice and games. That would be simple enough. Okay guys line up. you two with the mountain dew slushies and red eyes go home. The rest go to practice. Who cares if they smoke on their own time?

GreerVol22 writes:

For those of us who are adults and actually hold down a job, we are required to take random drug test. Fail once, you are fired. It is not open for debate or a liberal , "ahhh, lets get you some help" options. Last time I checked these are 18+ years olds, adults in the eyes of the law, that are given books, clothes, room and board, in return for an athletic performance. So, that being said, the policy should simply read......If you want to play big boy sports, at a big boy school, in a big boy conference, then act like a big boy....one and done.

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

I still say they should test ALL students.

CroKev writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

Man, I'm with you. Just to prove the point I just fired up a joint. I mean whose busness is it anwey if I waannt to smok sum weed? I mean, wots the beeg deele? Yur pointe is more even if a poisen is a atlet, er attlet, er athleat, ok, sport man. I meeen nobodee is getin hurt. U know wot man, u rok. Wer am I...

rocky_topper writes:

3 strikes for drugs? WOW! Wait until they get into the real world where it will be 1 strike and you are done! The 3-strike rule is a good way to prepare them I guess!

boogimn3 writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

For those of us who are adults and actually hold down a job, we are required to take random drug test. Fail once, you are fired. It is not open for debate or a liberal , "ahhh, lets get you some help" options. Last time I checked these are 18+ years olds, adults in the eyes of the law, that are given books, clothes, room and board, in return for an athletic performance. So, that being said, the policy should simply read......If you want to play big boy sports, at a big boy school, in a big boy conference, then act like a big boy....one and done.

GreerVol22,

The logic and obvious wisdom of your post is almost breathtaking in its efficiency and clarity...
I had to breathe deeply and wash my face to recover...

If our baketball team can be "one and done" in the NCAA's, then we can require a like result from any action resulting from the failure to respect the University,a scholorship, and the team...

vol88 writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

Scary post, dude.

nocleats writes:

I am willing to bet that the 3 strike rule is tougher than alot of D1 schools and on par w/ others, less Military Academies. How they are tested is where the abuse comes in.. If an athelete has advanced warning of the test, a chronic abuser can pass. If you dont believe me just google how to pass a urine test and count the results and options. Random is the only way, and that is an immediate random where once notified the testee is not allowed to leave at all. But most Universities want to say they conduct drug testing, they just dont want anyone to fail. Show me an SEC school that hasnt had someone dismissed for drugs and Ill show you a school that really isnt trying to catch anyone.

gvegasvol writes:

in response to pj_ladyvolnMI:

It is definitely the school's business if their students, who are not only getting a free education but are very much in the public eye, are responsible people who know how to respect and follow the law...regardless of their opinion of it. Irresponsible, disrespectful (aka immature) players only hurt the program and the university...and themselves.

PJ - that was well said. IMO you are right on the money!

amstelman writes:

Certainly the rep of the team and university are scarred by those who break the law. But One and Done would decimate college football (athletics). Two and Through might well too, but you got to draw the line somewhere!

Weed out the punks!

gnm53108 writes:

This thread is kinda smokey.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

Do they test people on this site for alcohol abuse?? Which kills more athletes, pot or alcohol?? Alcohol is the most destructive drug society uses.

Cheers!

Take one down and pass it around...

nocleats writes:

in response to mtnsvol44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Again, this policy is stricter than 85% of Tenns competition within the league and on par with the others. Dont be so surprised that this is Tenns policy. The old one of 4 tests was brought about so that Tenn was the same as their rivals. The 3 and done is more strict than MOST SEC schools.

bluetickhoundguy writes:

Watch this video and tell me JJ didn't skate easy. I don't know how he managed to avoid prosecution on this deal....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiPaLk...

BigOrangeBill writes:

in response to ghstmn46:

dont ask, dont tell...who cares whether they smoke pot....if you have to take a drug test to know then they obviously arent high enough to tell..the whole drug testing thing is phooey anyway....its nobody business what people do on their own time!!

So you're OK with Vol athletes smoking dope? Wow, what a testimony of character. Pot tears performance down by damaging memory, reaction time, team loyalty and worst of all, it is flat out SELFISH on the part of any athlete. What a disgraceful post. Shame on you.

gnm53108 writes:

Workin hard all week puts beer on the table.

BDaws writes:

I'm not afraid to say I smoke. I received a full ride in nuclear engineering to UT and I smoked daily while attending college. Though I changed majors along the way I graduated and now hold down a full time job. We get randomly tested but for a test there is always a way around it. If you want to judge me for what I do then that's fine but the reality is most of you sit there making your judgments about pot while you take prescription pills or drink alcohol which is pure hypocrisy. I'm not going to be an advocate for pot because this isn't the right venue but I will say a lot more people do it than most think and there are a lot of smart people with normal lives that don't fulfill the stereotypes. For those that attend UT or have in the past decade, we know it's a pot school. Most of you on the outside don't know this. There is pot, along with a plethora of other drugs, everywhere in Knoxville. As far as athletes being tested, I'm ok with that but I wish the welfare population got drug tested more than anything honestly. I could care less players get tested, unless you are saying pot is a performance enhancing product which I doubt anyone would (even though it might be but i'll skip this part as it is unfathomable for most ignorants). Three strikes is ridiculous though, because if you are dumb enough to fail two then three won't matter. I just can't believe our players are dumb enough not to cheat the test honestly. That is sign of their intelligence and that is what is truly scary.

dvols writes:

don't do meth!

Gumby#1381110 writes:

Hopefully our kids won't need the xtra chance.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to Bogytrain:

This isn't a crazy statement or a stupid post. This is correct. Weed isn't a performance enhancer, who cares if they smoke it??? Smoking weed, pounding a 6-pack, what's the difference?

Steroids or guns, throw 'em off the team. A little weed? WHO CARES!!!

The problem with testing for marijuana is that the drug stays in the system for months. Also, the test is very flawed, producing many false positives and false negatives. I get tested regularly and once was very fortunate to receive a false negative (along with several friends). I have known several people who swear that they received a false positive, and on a re-test were shown to be negative. I agree that since it does not affect performance, the test should not be given unless all college students are tested. That would certainly eliminate any overcrowding in the colleges, and would probably shut several down, so I doubt if that will ever happen.

OPAT writes:

in response to ResilientVol:

thats just flat out not true

Alcohol REALLY does kill more people than any other drug in America. Honestly marijuana does very little to the brain, you laugh at everything and get really hungry... that's it...

InertGas writes:

in response to ClassicVol:

I still say they should test ALL students.

If they do UT will be the 5th largest university in the state.

OrangePride writes:

in response to mempuss:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why don't you get YOUR head out of the sand, or wherever else it is! Poppy's are a plant too and, in case you hadn't heard, are refined into high-end drugs. And please don't put marijuana plants in the same category as coffee beans. Did you every actually take a Botany course? (rhetorical question....answer too obvious) As for the football programs in states with legalized medical marijuana, go check......those programs ALL have marijuana bans for their atheletes. So, continue to "burn away." We can all see the obvious benefits it has provided you.

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