Posted April 04, 2013

Report: Auburn kept drug tests quiet during national championship run in 2010

NCAAF
Star running back Michael Dyer was one of 12 Auburn players to fail drug tests during their 2010 national championship run. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Star running back Michael Dyer was one of 12 Auburn players to fail drug tests during their 2010 national championship run. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

One day after a report claimed that Auburn paid players and altered grades under former head coach Gene Chizik, another report cast light on a number of failed drug tests that the school decided to keep confidential.

ESPN The Magazine’s Shaun Assael reported the results of a six-month investigation Thursday that found an “epidemic” of synthetic marijuana use during their 2010 national championship run. According to the report, 12 Auburn players — including star running back Michael Dyer — tested positive for synthetic marijuana.

From Assael’s report:

In one extreme case, a freshman tight end, Dakota Mosley, failed seven consecutive weekly tests for the drug, but never was punished. (He was suspended for three months in a separate incident after he tested positive for marijuana.) The Arkansas native says he learned he’d failed a sixth test on the same day he was scheduled to meet with NCAA investigators to discuss a probe into potential recruiting violations.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs told ESPN that the program was aware of the failed drug tests, but did not even tell the players’ parents because the use of synthetic marijuana was a relatively new phenomenon. The NCAA did not officially ban the substance until December 2010. Jacobs said that it was not part of the university’s official policy, and the program could not discipline students for using it.

“We did all we could do to educate our student-athletes until [we] could understand exactly what we’re dealing with,” Jacobs told ESPN. “I think just like the rest of the campus, and the nation, we were trying to figure it out.”


14 comments
peteincoosbay
peteincoosbay

If this nonsense is allowed to continue, and if teams like Auburn (in this case) are allowed break the NCAA rules until such time has passed that all meaningful penalties escape those players actually involved and fall instead on those left to pick up the pieces,  then we may yet see the death of Collegiate Football, or at least the death of it's amazing popularity with the fans.  Same thing.

MarkCleary
MarkCleary

DEEEEEEEAAAAAATH PEEEEEEENALTYYYYYYYYYYY!  DEEEEEEEAAAAAATH PEEEEEEENALTYYYYYYYYYYY!

 

You Miami-haters like it when it's thrown back at you?

415man
415man

A "Thug" school full of "Thug" players. Hope they get what they deserve. 

vplexico
vplexico

How exactly does a college in 2010 "keep quiet" the results of drug tests that were invented in 2011?

David46
David46

So, the kids were failing for a fake drug that wasn't illegal and the university had no policy against it.

 

What's the story again? It's completely idiotic that even the kids smoking real weed would be suspended from the team if there was no legal issue. What's the victim of that "crime" again?

 

The real ethical issue in all of this is the NCAA makes billions of dollars on poor kids under the dubious claim that they're "giving them an education" when a lot of these kids are in some worthless major. But they want to keep them poor in the interim, make billions of dollars, and then slam kids in the news for worthless stuff like marijuana or synthetic marijuana. I think you have to be pretty stupid to do real or fake marijuana, but let's be honest here, the NCAA has far greater ethical issues the way it is money hungry itself and then scolds these kids for ridiculous things (like selling their own personal property, in the case of OSU, or punishing everyone except the child molester and administrators at Penn State). They call themselves "not for profit". What a joke.

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

I find it interesting that the AD failed to mention the real issues that have come out the last couple of days.  There were a lot of people who wanted his head last year.  They may get it this time.  If this grade changing incident has any validity at all, Auburn is in a world of hurt.  This is going back to Cam Newton.  Just like the O.J. trial...everyone knew he did it...they just couldn't prove it.  Now they are using their next best shot at Auburn.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

If you kicked out all the D1 players who smoked pot or used synthetic pot you wouldn't have enough left for a scrimmage.Stupid rule and stupider law.

CitizenCurby
CitizenCurby

Ha ha ha...Auburn is a joke...blame everything but the culture of corruption at your institution.  The real problem will not be fixed until you look in the mirror and make significant changes to your outlook.

wall4ce
wall4ce

Maybe Everyone should read the letter from the Auburn AD instead of a story generated by the woman who has STILL not retracted the story she wrote about the Duke Lacrosse players which RUINED their lives. This woman tries to put out stories fast at the expense of the facts. Just because ESPN grabs it, doesn't give it a basis in reality. 

 

Dear Auburn Family,

 

You may have seen a story on ESPN.com this eveningabout the former Auburn football players who were dismissed two years ago for their involvement in an armed robbery.

 

The story chronicles the former players' use of synthetic marijuana, which the defendants in the robbery case have used as their primary defense in court. We expect another, more in-depth story to appear in an upcoming print edition of ESPN The Magazine.

 

We cooperated with ESPN in the story because of how appropriately and aggressively the Auburn Athletics Department and the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics acted in response to the growing threat of synthetic marijuana during the 2010-2011 academic year.

 

As a father of three, I sympathize with the parents of the young men who face prison sentences  for their alleged involvement in the armed robbery. While they have a right to speak out, I have an obligation to share the facts, whichclearly show Auburn Athletics tried to help these former student-athletes.

 

Some of the statements made in the story are wrong and need to be corrected, while others need to be put into proper context. One player interviewed by ESPN, for example, alleges that up to half of the 2010 football team was using synthetic marijuana. It's hard to be more wrong than that. The facts and our drug testing results simply do not support such a claim.

 

A parent interviewed told ESPN they would have done more to help her son had we done more to let her know he was in trouble. That is incorrect. The facts demonstrate that our coaches and Sports Medicine professionals had regular communication with the parents and that every effort was made to warn our student-athletes about the dangers of synthetic marijuana.

 

Allow me to share with you the facts that we provided to the reporter. Some of them were included in the initialstory. Some were not.

 

? Auburn Athletics began testing for synthetic marijuana three days after our testing company made a test available. A test became available on Jan. 24, 2011, and Auburn added the test to its panel on Jan. 27, 2011.

? Since our drug testing policy was amended to include synthetic marijuana as a banned substance, there have been three positive tests for the  drug out of more than 2,500 drug tests administered. Those three  individuals are no longer on Auburn Athletics rosters.

? As soon as our Director of Sports Medicine was aware that synthetic marijuana  was a drug readily available in convenience stores in the fall of 2010, Auburn Athletics contacted our drug testing company to inquire about whether they had a test for synthetic marijuana and when one would be made available. They did not have a test at the time.

At the same time, our Director of Sports Medicine began education efforts aimed at our coaches and student-athletes.

? Auburn Athletics provided urine samples to the drug testing company to assist them in their efforts to develop a test.

? The Director of Sports Medicine and former Coach Gene Chizik both addressed the football team about the dangers of synthetic marijuana at multiple team meetings in the Fall of 2010, before a test was available. A story about the drug was placed on the locker of every football player on the team.

? Within the first few months of testing, 3 percent of our student-athletes tested positive for synthetic marijuana.

? Phone records show that more than 50 phone calls were made to the parents of two former student-athletes who were interviewed by ESPN.

? The father of one of the student-athletes who was apparently interviewed by ESPN was sent a letter informing him that his son had failed a drug test for regular marijuana two months before the robbery.

? The  Auburn Drug Testing/Drug Education Advisory Committee recommended to the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics that synthetic marijuana be  added to the Auburn Athletics drug testing policy on March 14, 2011. The policy change was adopted that day.

? Penalties for the use of synthetic marijuana were put into place for the next academic year beginning in August of 2011. Since it became a banned substance under the drug testing policy, only three  student-athletes have tested positive for synthetic marijuana out of  more than 2,500 tests administered.

 

I hope the facts clear up any misconceptions about drug use among our student-athletes. It is important for you to know that Auburn Athletics conducts approximately 1,500 drug tests each academic year. Less than one percent of our student-athletes test positive for illegal substances

 

joeshine730
joeshine730

Just looking at cheatin Gene Chizik one can tell gene is a slime ball.

Cool
Cool

It sounds to me as though  the AD is saying that every other school had the same problem?  I know Oregon had a problem with real pot use, but wasn't aware that every other school was dealing with a big problem of synthetic drug use... interesting.

azathoth
azathoth

 @David46 Deflection is a standard response.  Cocaine and opium were legal for a while, just like "spice."  Still fried peoples' brains.  How about the ethical obligation to get these kids help for taking a harmful substance, legal or not.  Don't worry about the NCAA, it won't do anything.  Worry about a school that didn't do anything to help those kids.

MarkCleary
MarkCleary

Because, of course, no AD has ever lied or screwed up a problem situation.  Clearly, you've never heard of "Rutgers."

 

Moron.