During their spring meetings, officials of the SEC considered implementing conference regulated drug tests for student athletes. Based on a checkered past, the conference should absolutely consider these actions.
The most compelling incident against the proposed drug tests is shown through former LSU standout Tyrann Mathieu.
LSU finally dismissed Mathieu months after being a Heisman Trophy nominee in August 2012. When he participated in the NFL Scouting Combine’s questioning process, the now-Arizona Cardinals player reportedly told one team he “lost count after 10” when asked about how many drug tests he failed while enrolled at LSU.
Former Tennessee standout Da’Rick Rogers was dismissed from the team for breaking team policies, including failed drug tests. The former All-SEC wide receiver finished his collegiate career at Tennessee Tech and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills.
Both players saw a decrease in draft stock when they embarked on professional careers, despite impressive on-field results in college football’s top conference. Not only is the currently policy not helping the players discipline-wise, but it is also making them look even worse to NFL teams. Clearly, the punishment before termination is not severe enough to make the players stop, and the system is doing nothing to improve their well-being.
Adding to the already mentioned information, certain SEC schools have a four-strikes failed drug test policy. According to their official websites, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and LSU are more lenient than the rest of the conference and allow an extra failed drug test, while the rest of the conference only allows three before dismissal.
The SEC definitely needs to have stricter drug testing to not only strengthen the discipline of their players, but also help their reputations for NFL scouts.