Breaking News:  Reports have surfaced that University of Oregon students, including members of the football team, have allegedly tested positive to the illegal narcotic marijuana.  Please remain calm, and allow us to assess the situation.

Recently RollingTide sent a correspondent to Eugene for confirmation and further details regarding this groundbreaking report published by ESPN: The Magazine.  Before further research could be confirmed, our on-site reporter mysteriously broke all contact last Friday April 20th, between the hours of 4 and 5 PM.  What’s worse, sources believe a member of the Oregon faculty (seen below) may have been involved in the reporter’s absence.

Last week ESPN The Magazine published an article, written by columnist Sam Alipour, illustrating the widespread marijuana drug culture in collegiate athletics, most notably the Oregon football program.  I for one, thank the crack squad of journalists at ESPN: The Magazine for uncovering what so few of the American public knew:  College students, even athletes, experiment with recreational drugs.

Let me start out by first stating that if you are a magazine that has to state your title followed by ‘The Magazine,’ you open yourself up to some ridicule.  RollingTide: The Blog and Charlie: The Person, find this amusing.  Anyways, the article (also published on ESPN: The Website and later Sportscenter: The Television Show…ok I’ll stop) paints a picure of a lawless, undisciplined, drug-influenced program with apparent disregard for any and all NCAA bylaws.  It reads much more closely to James Fray’s A Million Little Pieces, both being over-sensationalized, and littered with fiction and misinformation.

I’m actually not going to touch any drug controversy in this post.  If you want clarified opinions on recreational drug usage in the United States just fly to Berkeley, CA and hang on Telegraph for an hour.  Or just watch one episode, actually just 5 minutes, of The O’Reilly Factor.  Instead, I’m going to take a few minutes and explain why this story is ridiculous and my problem with this type of journalism.

It’s Just Factually Incorrect

Oregon football players use marijuana before practice, games, and even the Rose Bowl.  The entire premise of the article centers on 1 player, my guess a 3rd string weakside linebacker stating, “Some of us smoke, and then we went out and won the Rose Bowl.”  Accompanied with testimony from ex-players, the report estimates that up to 2/3 of the team is actively using marijuana, even before practices and games.  Head Coach Chip Kelly responded to this claim by stating, “The single biggest determining factor on sports performance is the central nervous system readiness, i.e. your brain.  If we had that many kids doing it, we wouldn’t be 34-6.”

I actually moonlight as a make-believe physician and would have to concur with this prognosis, Oregon football would not be 34-6.  Whether laying the skull or moving the pigskin, do you really think these kids are high?  Just watch the video.

This video demonstrates repeated violent collisions wherein, much like the NFL, concussions and traumatic head injuries can be equally problematic in collegiate athletics. While the NFL faces massive class-action lawsuits from retired players suffering post-career head trauma often leading to premature death, the NCAA needs to immediately recognize and address these same injuries and plan accordingly……Oh wait….sorry, I forgot we were discussing the epidemic problem of kid’s smoking weed.

While I could let the defense rest, I want the jugular.  Addressing the jury:  One player’s claim regarding widespread drug usage does not indict an entire program.  RollingTide cites precedent – The State of Maryjane v. TCU Football 2012.  Defense rests.

40%-60% of Oregon football players are actively smoking marijuana.  First of all, that’s just bad science.   In scientific terms, a 20% probability range is virtually useless, 100% of the time.  Defense rests, again.

Side note –  In this article, never once is an active player sourced.  While I understand anonymity, this renders an argument or point virtually meaningless.  Without accountability anyone can reference someone regarding a specific point.  Case in point, during college I met someone who actually dealt marijuana to Oregon students and football/basketball players.  I asked him one time if he sold drugs to players during the season, and he said rarely if at all, and never to starters on any instance.  I will absolutely not source this contact, much like my ESPN counterparts.  So to recap, I interviewed 1 DEALER, who refuted these claims.  Therefore 100% of my sources refuted the referenced ESPN article.  So 100% – 100% of said article is false.  I hope OregonLive picks up my last sentence.  I like this type of reporting TheMag, keep up the good work.

In conclusion, I figured I’d let correspondent Eric ‘Otter’ Stratton close us out.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether Oregon players broke a few rules, or took some liberties with their little budded friends.  They did.  But you can’t hold a whole team responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted potheads. For if you do, then shouldn’t you blame the whole athletic program? And if the whole athletic program is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Alipour and ESPN TheMag – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to me and my program, but I’m not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.  Gentlemen!

Roll Tide: The Mission

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  1. Blackjack says:

    “And for that, we thank you.” – D. Tosh

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