Weed, ESPN, and Dave Brandon

Submitted by Mr. Rager on April 18th, 2012 at 11:47 AM


David Brandon pops in with his opinion on this front page ESPN piece about weed.  

Most interesting paragraph:

"Wolverines are now suspended for 10 percent of their team's competitions after the first positive drug test and 33 percent of competitions after a second, and they receive a one-year suspension from all activities after a third positive result. "I think it's a competitive disadvantage to have a program where there is drug usage as part of the culture," Brandon says. "I don't look at it as a competitive disadvantage if we have to suspend a student-athlete from time to time to make a point.""




April 18th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

My opinion?  Smoking weed should be treated the same as drinking alcohol.  Do as much of it as you want, as long as it isn't affecting other aspects of your life. 

If a player isn't putting in the work he should because he's getting stoned - that's a problem.  If he's showing up to any team event stoned - that's a huge problem.  If he's done with his stuff for the day and wants to smoke a bowl while watching TV or playing video games before bed - or if he wants to spend his Saturday night smoking on the porch instead of hitting up Skeepers?  I'm perfectly OK with that. 


April 18th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

I never made any claims about being drunk and doing any of the things that you mentioned.  So the law doesn't disagree with me there. 

But if we're going strictly by the law, then an underage player who gets an MIP should get the same punishment as one who tests positive for weed, since they are basically equivalent offenses.  Same with any other law breaking.  If "the law" is what we're going by for our athletes, then it needs to be the same across the board. 


April 18th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

Yeah, I have to agree that the illegal substance abuse is going to be harsher than abuse of a legal substance just because it is two infractions versus one, but that also feels like semantics.  Personally, I agree that weed might as well be treated as alcohol in terms of infractions, but then you'd have to legalize weed in the process.


April 18th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

Weed in Oregon is treated as a lesser offense in some instances in Oregon.  Getting caught with less than one oz. of weed in Oregon is simply a violation of the law.  I believe it is a Class A Violation which carries a fine of $435, same as driving while suspended or not stopping for a school bus.  The joke around police departments in Oregon is that weed is "legal" due to the leniency in penalty/ fact that anyone can get a medical card for anything.

Benoit Balls

April 18th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

or if anyone does, but if you are a Michigan resident, and also a college student athlete, and paid your $100, errr...got a prescription for a medical marijuana card (say you have Crohn's disease or something), would the NCAA just not test you for pot, or ignore the pot because you are legally allowed to partake, or is there something in NCAA bylaws that says something to the effect that "we dont care about local laws, if you want to be a scholarship athlete under the regulations of the NCAA then we say you cant, no matter what"?

I'm curious more than anything.  Any insight is appreciated


April 18th, 2012 at 5:12 PM ^

They pick a certain number of random schools out of a hat, and then pick random sports at those schools. They also test randomly at championship events.

That being said, I doubt they catch 1/10 of what the schools themselves do; usually the schools catch any infractions.


April 18th, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

I don't think the munchies are that big of a deal here, I smoke on a regular basis and maintain less than 7% body fat. It comes down to self control really. I know some people would say smoking pot is a lack of self control, but I really don't see any problem with it, especially factoring in that alcohol is widely considered much worse for you. If a school wants to test however then that is their right and the players should abide by the rules set forth by the program and accept consequences if they are caught.


April 18th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

Full disclosure - I've never smoked, but I have a lot of friends who did/do. and I try not to judge. And I'm not asking this rhetorically:

Wouldn't weed be more likely to negatively affect a player's performance though? Just the whole smoke/lungs/running/athlete thing? While alcohol will cloud judgement and dehydrate, couldn't the means of intake (smoking vs. drinking) make it even more detrimental?


April 18th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

Depends on the manner of intake.  Sure, smoking a joint would be more or less like a cigarette (actually probably more tar) and would have adverse effects.  However, using a vaporizer that actually cools the smoke and mixes it with water vapor would have much less of an effect. 

Of course, if you wanted zero lung guilt and all of the high, they could always go with edibles, which would just be like eating a brownie or a sucker.


April 18th, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

with no apparent long term affects. You don't wake up 'hung over ' , there is no physiological dependency, or a risk of overdose that would kill you such as a respiratory depression risk. There was no wheezing or shortage of breath; if you exercised and or ran, you'd be fit as a fiddle. Its the perfect recreational drug; the biggest downsides are a relative laziness while on the drug and a desire to do it again the next day. Folks that overdo it run the risk of becoming a dreg of society but physiologically I don't believe its been proven harmful .


April 18th, 2012 at 10:43 PM ^

  I've smoked a pretty fair amount of pot while training for half-marathons or being on three recreational soccer teams and two ultimate frisbee teams.  I'm not an elite runner, but I managed some really good times.  So, no... doesn't have much of an affect.


  Also, don't confuse smoking cigarettes with smoking marijuana.  They are entirely different substances with vastly different chemicals so they'll affect your body differently.  You're going to have to dig pretty hard to find any study of any repute that concludes pot has any long-term effects on your health or body.


April 18th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

I agree with him. I have no problem with weed, and think it should be legalized in general, but even then I think athletic programs should have the ability to make rules against weed, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. Not for moral reasons, but because these are all things that can hurt their performance. Why would a team allow that?


April 18th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

My wife and I have been working our way through The Wire and are about to finish Season 5.  Sad to say, but Season 5 is a disappointment.  Which is a shame, because we both thought the first 4 seasons were some of the best TV we've ever seen.  I don't want spoil anything for those of you haven't seen Season 5, but there are some unrealistic plot developments that kind of ruin the whole season.  Of course, we'll finish it out (3 episodes to go!), but that's only because the first 4 seasons were so good.

His Dudeness

April 18th, 2012 at 11:53 AM ^

So is the university at a competitive disadvantage for being so weed friendly? I think the track record shows otherwise... DB makes a valid point that sitting kids puts them at a disadvantage, but it is due to the punishment not due to the drug use.


April 18th, 2012 at 11:53 AM ^

Dave Brandon just continues to prove why he is in the position he is.  We don't need athletes around the program that want to partake in illegal activities.  If that happens and nothing is done about it, then we become Florida.


April 18th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

Drinking underage is "illegal," and most of the team is underage. You think even half of the underage football players at Michigan don't drink?

Not arguing your point about DB, just saying that they can actually get in more legal trouble for drinking underage (MIP, other illegal actions that being drunk can cause) than smoking weed ($25 fine, slap on wrist).

Most of them participate in an illegal activity or another, some are just more acceptable than others as your comment suggests.


April 18th, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

I'm all for following the law. I'm only commenting on the general acceptance of underage drinking compared to the disapproval smoking of weed. Especially when often the only argument for those who disapprove of smoking weed is that it's illegal. Underage drinking is illegal too but that's OK when you're in college, right?