Interesting article today in ESPN the Magazine on the University of Oregon's football program and their alleged Pot use.
Nowhere is Oregon's laissez-faire approach to marijuana more apparent than Eugene, the state's counterculture and cannabis capital. "Business here is almost overwhelming," says a student-dealer who lives on -- no joke -- High Street. "Here, everybody smokes." Not surprisingly, The Princeton Review and High Times both have ranked the University of Oregon among the most pot-friendly schools. Another telltale, anecdotal sign: Into the 1990s, the Grateful Dead made Autzen Stadium a regular tour stop. "It's the weed capital of the world," says former Duck Reuben Droughns. "Long dreads. Girls with hairy armpits. Where there's hippies, there's weed."
The school's football program reflects those realities. In interviews with The Magazine, 19 current or former Oregon players and officials revealed widespread marijuana use by football players for at least the past 15 years. Former Ducks, including current pros, estimate between 40 percent and 60 percent of their teammates puffed; current Ducks say that range remains accurate.
I really don't care what goes on at UO, but if the numbers are correct that the UO usage is higher than the NCAA average then UO is going to take their fair share of criticism...it doesn't matter, they are now a target. Not just by the media or rival fanbases but rival coaches will use this as well.
I chuckled more at some of the comments that I have read on some of the Ducks boards. There seems to be an attitude that the media is out to get UO because of their meteoric rise of late. I get that, some USC fans thought the same thing during the last decade. I really don't have a problem with that line of thinking.
I howled more that this will be great for UO's recruiting. Right, UO is going to be negatively recruited like they have never seen.
Look, I did my fair share of weed before I joined the Navy and I never went back. It would be a bit hypocritical to say smoking dope is wrong after all the bowls I lit up...I would just say that I could have made better choices. But in today's era of social networking, once there is a record of it, legal or otherwise, the die tends to be cast in a negative light.
It could be hard to shake...
Oregon as an institution can't be happy with how this story makes the program look.
I get it, kids smoke dope, some will say it is a right of passage, especially in college.
But that will be a flimsy defense in the Recruiting Wars...
WE SMOKED IT ALL!!