Football: Overdue overreaction not worthy of praise

Thank goodness the media is going over to writers with a sense of perspective. Justin McElroy, who writes here now and again, used his forum at MacLeans OnCampus to call BS on yesterday's PED-hysteria perpetuatin'.
"Of the 60, the number of positive tests for drugs was . . . 3. One of which was for pot. So really, all things being equal, 2. Or 3.3 per cent of student-athletes in the sport most likely to use performance-enhancing drugs.

"Is this a large number? With something this subjective — not to mention the margin of error with a relatively small sample size — it's hard to say. In 2003, Major League Baseball announced that '5 to 7 percent' of all players tested positive for drugs in random, non-punishable testing, though players had a full eight months between the announcement of tests and their commencement."
The crux is "the piddling results" from the off-season tests do not justify how the "sports media may have overplayed a controversial issue."

One of this site's writers is also quoted, but it might be more pertinent to relate a comment on the article from someone purporting to be a current football player.
"This whole thing is the CIS' own fault. Take it from someone who is currently actively participating in one of the CIS' 27 university football programs. This is a much more widespread issue and it doesn’t revolve around lack of education. We know what we can and cannot take and we know the consequences. The reason some choose to do it, especially in the off-season, is because before this year the CIS never tested in the off-season.

"Everyone who doesn't pay attention to the CIS thinks that the CIS is doing a good thing here and should be commended. I would have first liked to see them be ridiculed for bringing this problem upon themselves. The CIS testing measures are very strict but their system is a joke. There have been seasons over my career where not a single person on our team got tested."
We don't know yet and one would hope otherwise, but would tripling the number of tests just amount to throwing more money at the problem? At least then, people shut up and turn their attention elsewhere. (Remember Jon Stewart saying that the media are like seven-year-olds chasing a soccer ball?)

You don't know what to believe, but it's hard to believe intelligent people just swallow this whole.

And to continue on a theme, what cost is there to the public image of CIS football if the only off-season headlines it gets are about the latest random player caught for doping?

Is that why it exists, to panders to a cut-and-dried, black-and-white kindergarten worldview that a witchhunt is justified so long as it snares at least one drug cheat? It calls to mind that opening scene in The Other Guys in which the cowboy cops played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson cause millions of dollars of damage during a minor pot bust.

The ends are not justifying the means nor the message.

Every other big ball-and-stick league has gone through this and reacted pragmatically. They knew the media, more so than the general public, wanted some reassurance athletes were quote, unquote clean, but ultimately they didn't really care. They just wanted a sports fix.

It would have been great to see common sense prevail, especially among people with advanced educations. Granted, maybe that is the difference between being learned and being schooled.

Instead, we get this overdue overreaction and likely more of the same-ol', same-ol' from this sports association. We'll never know how much energy that could have been dedicated to, say, developing better media partnerships and finding a way to fund more full-time coaching salaries has been gobbled up by PED hysteria.
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  1. Realistically speaking, there is next to no money now or in the future for the majority of CIS athletes, regardless of sport.

    I don't know, but for some reason this leads me to a 'let'em do what they want' attitude.

    I don't know. The majority that take'em are doing it to gain a personal athletic edge, not to gain a financial windfall down the line.

    I must be completely off-base.

  2. Using PEDs is only in part about being better athleticly. Its also about being part of the image of being a big, strong, "jacked" guy, who all the girls will swoon over.

    As the player quoted in this article says, CCES did nothing to monitor PEDs before this year. Only morons would be in a cycle in-season anyways. So off-season testing makes more sense, it is just even more expensive to track players down.

    Does anyone else wonder if the 5 "unreleased" results from Waterloo were for pot? Therefore Waterloo knee-capped its program for a decade for some THC results in the off season, when THC isn't even banned?