Ryan Mayer

The Baylor University athletic department has been the center of media attention for much of the last year due to the investigation into the football program’s conduct in response to sexual assault allegations. It once again finds itself in the media spotlight because of a new book, in which it’s reported that the department wasn’t administering random drug testing to its student-athletes. The book, Violated, by ESPN’s Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach, states that the university’s regents didn’t know that student-athletes weren’t being tested until the Pepper Hamilton investigation was conducted. From the report:

“Baylor regents had no idea that the university wasn’t randomly drug testing its student-athletes until Pepper Hamilton, a Philadelphia law firm the school hired to examine how it handled allegations of sexual assault by students, including football players, turned up the issue.”

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The book goes on to further detail that administrators and regents believe that the university’s strict policy on marijuana use led to the decision to not test student-athletes.

“According to Baylor regents and other administrators, its athletics department avoided random drug testing because of the university’s overall strict policy against marijuana use, in which one reported incident might lead to suspension for a semester and a second incident could result in expulsion. Since the university’s strict conduct code might derail a student-athlete’s career, athletic department officials didn’t think it was fair to subject them to random testing.

What was really happening was the underlying message to them is, ‘Hey, the rules don’t apply to you,'” one regent said in the book. “You know, and they have been hearing that since the seventh grade anyway. Some rules do apply to everybody, and telling them they don’t apply is not calculated to make them productive citizens.”

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The NCAA doesn’t require member institutions to drug-test student-athletes. However, if the school has a policy regarding drug-testing, then the athletic programs do need to follow that policy. The organization does test for both street drugs and performance enhancing drugs at championships, while also doing random testing once a year at the various member institutions.

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Several former Baylor athletes weighed in after the reports surfaced today, saying that they had indeed been drug tested during their time at the school.