Evans: NFL Drug Tests Push Limits

  Evans: NFL Drug Tests Push Limits

Posted by CN Staff on August 01, 2004 at 16:25:11 PT
By Bob Herzog 
Source: Newsday  

In the context of last week's revelations by Miami's Ricky Williams that marijuana use was a factor in his sudden retirement announcement, and with the perspective of his own experiences with failed drug tests throughout his NFL career, Jets defensive tackle Josh Evans yesterday offered candid comments about the way the NFL's substance- abuse policy is implemented."You can't beat those people. Whatever they say goes," Evans said of those who police the league's drug policy. "The worst thing you can do, like I did my first couple of years, is try and fight them. I finally just let go. I don't even ask why now, I just do it."
While with Tennessee, Evans was suspended for four games in 1999 and missed the entire 2000 season for violation of the NFL's substance- abuse policy. He lost an appeal before last season and missed the first 10 games because of a suspension, presumably for missing scheduled drug tests. He insisted yesterday that he was not taking drugs last season.He empathized with Williams' decision, citing what he characterized as the intrusive nature of the drug enforcement policy."You look at Ricky and I hate that he retired, but in a way I understand," Evans said. "These people have total control over your life. Being a man's man, it's hard to have someone telling you what you can and can't do. People don't realize that there are people out here who have murdered people, raped people, who are not under as much scrutiny as athletes are."Asked specifically about some of the more invasive aspects of the drug-testing program, Evans said, "I think it's degrading that you have to lift your shirt up to your nipples and drop your shorts to your knees. If I wake up in the morning [in the offseason] and I feel good and I want to catch a flight to Puerto Rico, I won't know what hotel I'm staying at. If I don't tell them what hotel I'm staying in - the address and the phone number - all of a sudden I'm trying to avoid a test."He did not, however, absolve himself of responsibility for his personal predicament. "I take full responsibility for everything that I have done," said Evans, 31. "I am not going to walk away from it. I am going to tell the truth. If I failed [the tests], I failed. If I didn't, I didn't." Source: Newsday (NY)Author: Bob HerzogPublished: August 1, 2004Copyright: 2004 Newsday Inc.Contact: letters newsday.comWebsite: Articles:Marijuana-Like Drug Eludes Scientists Fails Third Drug Test

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Comment #10 posted by AgaetisByrjun on August 03, 2004 at 09:53:08 PT
I actually think
That the ESPN article probably hurt more than it helped: in my view, the last thing we need is for yet another insipid piece about "stoner" stereotypes. What if it had been like this?THE NBA ALL-NIGGER TEAMC: Shaquille O'Neal (Miami) - This coon's size will be a huge factor in the All-Niggers' dominance, although he's had a history of being a prima donna. No matter: the fried chicken and watermelon after every game will bring ANY darkie over: you can take a nigger out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of a nigger. Haha! Aren't I witty?
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 02, 2004 at 16:44:58 PT
You're welcome. My problem is I don't know anything about most sports so I don't know if it's good or accurate. I'm glad you told me and that you liked it.
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Comment #8 posted by mayan on August 02, 2004 at 16:38:54 PT
That's great satire from ESPN! Never thought I'd see something like that on their site. The absurdity of cannabis prohibition becomes more apparent every day! Thanks!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 02, 2004 at 15:35:49 PT
News Article from News 8 Austin
Former Drug Czar Calls for Emphasis on EducationBy News 8 Austin StaffAugust 2, 2004Education is one of the biggest and most effective weapons in the war on drugs, a former national drug czar said while visiting Austin Monday.Barry McCaffrey, addressing more than 1,200 members of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA), said that by sixth grade it is critical kids are taught about the dangers of drugs.For warnings to succeed, they must be continued through the college years, he said. But he faulted campuses for neglecting the anti-drug messages that primary schools put so much effort into inculcating."College administrators have to face up to it and have to have a healthy understanding for young people that we are paying an enormous amount of money to have them educated, and they walk away from that responsibility, in large part and when they try something, they get tremendous backlash, not just from students but parents and alumni associations," McCaffrey said.The general laid out the social and financial effects of drug use. According to TCADA statistics, 609 percent of those arrested test positive for illegal substances."The biggest expenditure of our society are managing the consequences of drug abuse. It's prisons, health care, the court system," he said. "Every drug addict is a one-person wrecking machine." McCaffrey called for more focus on drug education and insurance coverage for rehab patients. "Communities have a drug problem. The metaphor you and I are talking about here isn't the 'war on drugs,' it's a cancer affecting all communities," he said.Professional sports leagues, in particular, should do more to prohibit drugs. Regarding Ricky Williams controversial retirement, among other things over marijuana use, he said trainers and coaches should be held accountable.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 02, 2004 at 12:00:56 PT

ESPN: One Smokin' Team
What if testing positive for marijuana wasn't a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy? In fact, what if possessing marijuana wasn't even against the law in the United States? I found myself pondering these issues last week, after both Ricky Williams and Bam Morris made cannabis-related news.Would Williams have retired if he could keep smoking marijuana? Would Morris, who just completed a five-year prison sentence, have played on if six pounds of marijuana hadn't been found in his trunk back in 1996?And would a team of potheads -- led by the backfield of Williams and Morris -- be able to beat any team in football?I found myself asking all of these questions. And, no, I wasn't high at the time.I see this All-Weed Team defeating all comers. Instead of boring old plays like the "Pro 34 Dive" or the "24 Slant Tight Left," they'd run things called the "Smoked Screen," the "Hail Mary-Jane," or maybe the "Bong Pass." They'd wear uniforms made from hemp and refuse to work out or watch film. They'd get endorsement contracts not with Nike and Gatorade, but with companies that produce liquid masking agents. The locker room would be filled with homemade arts and crafts like water-bottle bongs. And the trainer's room would be stocked with medical marijuana to be used for the treatment of all injuries.With a little research, I put together a fantasy team so . . . umm, loaded -- 11 current or former All-Pros and Pro Bowl players -- that Bam Morris didn't even make the final cut. So without further ado, let's take a look -- even if it is with bloodshot eyes -- at the All-Weed Team. (No sense stalling any further; some pot smokers might be reading this, and their concentration can go pretty quickly.)OFFENSERunning back: Ricky Williams, formerly of the Miami Dolphins. Led NFL in rushing in 2002 with 1,853 yards.The All-Weed Team starts with Williams. With three failures of league drug tests on his record, the former All-Pro even admitted to the Miami Herald last week that his desire to continue smoking pot contributed to his decision to retire. That's some serious dedication to weed. And considering that long-term marijuana might lead to motivational problems, impaired judgment and loss of ambition, it's no wonder Williams thought it wise to give up the millions of dollars remaining on his contract for a life of joblessness and bong hits. He'll get the bulk of the carries on the All-Weed Team.Running back: Jamal Lewis, Baltimore Ravens. Led NFL in rushing in 2003 with 2,066 yards.Lewis was suspended in 2001 for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. (The details of Lewis's two positive tests weren't released by the league, so we can't be absolutely certain about his substance of choice.) But that -- and his current federal indictment in relation to a drug ring -- are enough to put Lewis in our backfield with Williams. It's a backfield that any coach would want to have between the hashish ... er, hashes.Wide receiver: Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings. All-Pro with 8,375 receiving yards in just six seasons.Moss tested positive for marijuana at Florida State and was kicked off the team before he enrolled at Marshall. He was also charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana in 2002 in relation to a traffic accident, but the charge was dropped after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless driving and a petty misdemeanor charge of obstructing justice. Like the old saying goes: "A rolling Moss always gets stoned." Or something like that.Wide receiver: Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina Panthers. Former Pro Bowler and eight-year veteran went for 140 yards and a touchdown in last year's Super Bowl.Muhammad pleaded guilty in 2002 to misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon. He also served jail time in 1993 while at Michigan State for violating a probation he was given for possession of marijuana. Muhammad gets the starting nod over other candidates because of his multiple transgressions -- a dedication to ganja that is not taken lightly on this team. Quarterback: Todd Marinovich, formerly of the Raiders. Played two seasons in the NFL after being a first round pick of the Raiders in 1991.Marinovich, now 35, has a long track record with marijuana, including a conviction for cultivation of the plant in 1998. That history earned him a well-deserved nickname: Todd Marijuanavich. The All-Weed Team provides him with his last, best chance to achieve the football stardom he was seemingly destined for since early childhood. Even the world's biggest pothead wouldn't blow an opportunity like this. Probably. His backup? Virginia Tech sophomore Marcus Vick, who threw for 475 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman last season but is currently suspended indefinitely in the wake of charges of marijuana possession and reckless driving.Tight end: O.J. Santiago, Denver Broncos.. Has started 60 games in his seven-year career with four separate organizations.Santiago was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2001 as a member of the Cleveland Browns. His hold on the All-Weed Team's starting tight end spot will be tightened if he agrees to change his initials to M.J.Center: Mark Stepnoski, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and Oilers organizations. Five-time Pro Bowl center retired after the 2001 season.Stepnoski has served as president of the Texas chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws since his retirement from the game. His presence is needed both on the field and in the locker room so All-Weed Team members can learn how he managed to avoid a single positive drug test during his 13-year career.Offensive line: Nate Newton, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers. Six-time Pro Bowl guard retired after the 1999 season.Despite being 42-years old and out of the game for four years, Newton receives an All-Weed Team spot. In fact, we'll name him a co-captain, along with Ricky Williams, since he was once busted driving around with 213 pounds of marijuana in his van. That's right -- pounds, not ounces. While his No. 1 job on the All-Weed Team will be clearing holes for Williams and Lewis, a close second will be supplying his teammates with some of his primo product.Offensive line: Khiawatha Downey, San Francisco 49ers. Rookie tackle earned Division II All-American honors at Indiana University of PA after 2003 season.Downey twice tested positive for marijuana while in college.Offensive line: Marvel Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers. Fifth-year pro was a second-round draft pick in 2000.Smith was arrested and charged with marijuana possession in 2002. He also tested positive for marijuana while at Arizona State. And you thought the Pittsburgh drug culture died with the Pirates of the late '70s and early '80s.Offensive line: Tra Thomas, Philadelphia Eagles. Two-time Pro Bowler has started every game he has played since joining the Eagles in 1998.Thomas tested positive for marijuana before the 1998 NFL Draft. He claimed it was from second-hand smoke, something he should be breathing a lot of in the All-Weed Team's locker room.DEFENSEDefensive line: Warren Sapp, Oakland Raiders. Perennial Pro Bowler has 77 sacks in his nine-year career.Sapp admitted to a positive test for marijuana while at the University of Miami. He provides the All-Weed Team with bulk in the middle of the defensive line.Defensive line: Keith Hamilton, formerly of the New York Giants. Former All-Pro had 63 sacks over 12-year career that ended after the 2003 season.Hamilton was charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana -- among other drug-related charges -- during a 2003 traffic stop. He'll easily be lured out of his short retirement once he is made aware that there plenty of food available at our postgame spread.Defensive line: Anthony Maddox, Jacksonville Jaguars Rookie from Delta State was the Gulf South Conference's defensive player of the year in 2003, and a fourth-round pick.Originally a Florida State recruit, Maddox was arrested in 1999 for possession of marijuana. He gets named to the All-Weed Team not only for his potential on the defensive line, but also for the valuable connections he has to Florida's fertile, hash-friendly college programs.Defensive line: Cletidus Hunt, Green Bay Packers Has 15 sacks over his five-year career.Hunt tested positive for marijuana at the 1999 NFL scouting combine and twice more after joining the Packers, resulting in a four-game suspension without pay in 2001. His current contract mandates that he must return a portion of his signing bonus if he is suspended again. His All-Weed Team contract mandates no such thing.Linebacker: Ahmad Brooks, University of Virginia. Sophomore is expected to be a top-10 pick if he comes out of school early in 2005.The selection of Brooks is based solely on potential -- both on the field and on the pipe. He pled no contest to marijuana possession in the summer of 2003.Linebacker: Darren Hambrick, free agent. Has been out of the game since 2002 after playing with the Cowboys, Panthers and Browns.Hambrick was charged with fleeing a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer in 2001, after the arresting deputy smelled marijuana wafting from his vehicle during a traffic stop. Hambrick is reunited on the All-Weed Team with former Dallas teammates Stepnoski and Newton, a different kind of "Big Three" to go with the Cowboys' Aikman-Emmitt-Irvin troika in the 1990s.Linebacker: Cornell Brown, Baltimore Ravens. Originally a sixth-round pick, Brown has played in 96 games during his six-year career, recording seven sacks.Brown was arrested for marijuana possession in 2001, but the charge was dropped before trial. Despite the dismissal, no crime-related squad such as the All-Weed Team can go wrong by adding an extra Baltimore Ravens player or two.Defensive back: Chris McAlister, Baltimore Ravens. Pro Bowl cornerback has 14 interceptions and 224 tackles in five-year career.McAlister was charged with possession of marijuana after police found the drug while investigating a burglary at his house. McAlister is currently a holdout with the Ravens, meaning he and Brown will have to smoke apart until an agreement is reached.Defensive back: Rashard Anderson, Carolina Panthers. A first-round selection in the 2000 draft.Anderson has been suspended the last two seasons for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He could be reinstated before the start of the season, but he'll always have an active roster spot on the All-Weed Team.Defensive back: Rodney Artmore, formerly of the Packers. Made Green Bay's team as a rookie free agent in 1999.Artmore was charged with possession of marijuana in 2000 and hasn't played in the NFL since. He makes a triumphant return to football now, though, on the All-Weed Team.Defensive back: Juran Bolden, Jacksonville Jaguars. Recorded seven interceptions over the last two years as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.Bolden was charged in 2003 with marijuana possession and driving a stolen car, which Jacksonville apparently thought was worth a five-year, $13.4 million contract this offseason. The All-Weed Team would definitely match or exceed that offer for his services. Plus, we'd throw in some rolling papers.So there you have it: a team of cannabis aficionados that can hang with anybody in the NFL.And just wait 'til we put together our All-Weed NBA Team. Now pass the pretzels. I've got the munchies.D.J. Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine, as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site
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Comment #5 posted by dididadadidit on August 02, 2004 at 07:38:46 PT

Urine Testing Everywhere
A read of the want ads in the Sunday papers reveals urine testing as a prerequisite for employment down to the car wash lot attendant level for car rental companies. It truly is everywhere.Perhaps in a second term we can see the Bushies demand seniors pee in a jar to certify they are clean enough to continue getting their social security checks and medicare. Can't have aging hippie terrorists staying well, collecting SS and giving their money to terrorist causes now, can we??
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Comment #4 posted by billos on August 02, 2004 at 03:54:26 PT

Not the way to go, Evans..........................
"You can't beat those people. Whatever they say goes," Evans said of those who police the league's drug policy. "The worst thing you can do, like I did my first couple of years, is try and fight them. I finally just let go. I don't even ask why now, I just do it." We CAN beat these people and we CAN fight them.....If we remain complacent, they win.

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Comment #3 posted by warhater on August 01, 2004 at 22:36:12 PT:

More People Should Do This
Drug tests are Un-American. I would have no problems with tests that measure actual impairment, but hair testing and urine testing are unnecessarily invasive. They also encourage people to use hard drugs. Coke, meth, and heroin can be detected in a urine test for 72 hours. Pot can be detected for 2 weeks or more. I respect Ricky Williams for quiting football. I would like to see him play in Canada as Virgil suggested. It would be poetic justice. I also hope more people defect from companies that drug test. In the 1990's ecomomy we put a nice dent in the drug testing industry. The Bush depression has caused a resurgence in drug tests. Jobs are scarce enough that more people are willing to deal with it. 
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on August 01, 2004 at 18:47:26 PT

Go North, young man, go North
The importance of this defection from the wonders of a career in the NFL seem to have some similarity to the defectors in the Israeli Army that say they will not commit crimes against the Palestinians.I wish Ricky would take his game to Canada, where he could be a spokesman for how bad the police state in America has become.Welcome to the Cannabis Crusade, Ricky. Some ignorance is harder to kill than others and there is an awful lot of it out there. Fortunately they are lightly armed with mostly old lies and their recruiting is down while the morale of the Free Cannabis camp grows in resolve, number and knowledge, knowing they cannot kill us off, and our biggest bombs are yet to come. 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on August 01, 2004 at 17:05:32 PT

Some good insight.
When football players speak out, they don't speak in favor of the drug war policies that confront them. 
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