Perception isn't reality when illicit drugs are involved.

The recent events over in Tuscaloosa have brought to mind some of the issues of integrity surrounding college football in the south, particularly the perceived difference of the integrity of my prized University and its chief competitors. There is the obviously biased (though possibly illiterate) blogosphere contingent that propagates the notion that $.E.C. recruiting $ucce$$ is based on nefarious financial gifts, and that these student-athlete's continued success throughout college is only possible with some mental and legal gymnastics by the athletic office to keep various and numerous criminals on the field. And I know that those are the inconsequential opinions because 1) it's the internet and 2) haters, as there are known and quite appropriately, gonna hate. There are those, however, who I encounter in my real life who have this same or similar opinion. Living in Atlanta I do encounter college football fans wearing yellow, and often thin and bespectacled, boasting of his university's institution's superior academics and with names like ThU.G.A., North Georgia Criminals, and other ill informed nicknames that assume that Georgia's varsity is really an extension of the Georgia penal system. I also have a long time friend from Michigan (thus, a fan of Michigan) who is convinced that the University of Georgia is among the dirtiest programs in the country (but more on this later). Comments like that irk me. And then you have this guy. It’s enough to question if these accusations are assumed bias or real fact.

So I did about 45 seconds of research and came up with this article.

It’s a comparison of difference collegiate programs drug abuse policy, I think a pretty object measure of not only how an athletic office tolerates bad behavior, but also how attractive a program might be to any miscreants.

Here are some of the better examples.

The Standard:

Georgia: (1) 10 percent of games; (2) 50 percent of games; (3) dismissal.

That is, first failure is suspension form 10% of the scheduled games, second failure is 50%, third time is the charm.

Sometimes you need something to relax after all that studying:

Georgia Tech: (1) none; (2) 10 percent of games; (3) one year; (4) dismissal.

Notice that there is no suspension for a first time failure. It makes covering slip ups much easier.

In other news, in the sprawling truck stop that is Tuscaloosa:

Alabama: (1) none; (2) 15 percent of games; (3) one year; (4) dismissal.

Pretty close to Tech. Again, not punishing first time offenders will make your program appear much cleaner than it is.

So that's how you get all those guys into Oxford:

Ole Miss: (1) none; (2) none; (3) three games.

Since there are no NCAA regulations for recreational drug testing, or policies, this is acceptable.

I was pleased to find this one out:

Michigan: (1) none; (2) 10 percent of games; (3) one year.

That's not the caliber of party as Ole Miss, but still very relaxed.

Welcome to the party!

Texas A&M: (1) none; (2) "possible suspension;" (3) possible dismissal.

Nothing says "hard and fast rules" like incredibly vague rules. This pretty much assures the only thing between Jonathan "Heisman" Football and 26 more starts is injury.

and lastly, the former home of the Okefenokee oar, may she never return hence:

Florida: For marijuana/synthetic marijuana: (1) none; (2) 10 percent of games; (3) 20 percent of games; (4) dismissal. For all other drugs: (1) 50 percent of games; (2) dismissal.

Notice how there is a differentiation between marijuana and all other drugs. Fortunately there is a "two strikes, you're out" policy in place for those using black tar heroin. Fourth time is the charm in Gainesville for wacky tabaccy.

It's a shame that a program based on integrity, with a man of faith at the helm, is slandered simply for having the most realistic rules. I am proud of CMR and the job being done by the front office to not only win games but to do so with integrity even though those practices can put them at a disadvantage on the field and in the court of public perception.

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