AP investigation: SEC marijuana penalties not as stiff as those from NCAA

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According to an investigation by the Associated Press, players who test positive for marijuana at schools in the SEC face a lesser penalty than the one-year suspension one would receive for being busted by the NCAA.

The report says that players many times get multiple chances, even four or five, before dismissal from the team. In comparison, failed drug tests given by the NCAA carry an automatic suspension.

The Associated Press investigated 11 SEC schools, with Vanderbilt not being obligated to provide information, given its status as a private institution.

Schools dictate their own testing policies, though the NCAA does still conduct its own drug tests. With that, though, positive drug tests are protected by privacy laws, not even requiring schools to notify the NCAA.

”We need to tighten it up quite a bit and come up with a good policy for everyone involved,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork told the AP.

The most notable part of this is the variation between schools within the same conference. For example, as the report cites, second-time marijuana offenders at Georgia and Auburn could lose half of a season to suspension, whereas identical cases at Arkansas and Florida would lose only close to 10%.

To read the report in its entirety, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_