Date: October 15th, 2015 11:28 AM
Author: Barack Carcetti
128 teams x 85 scholarship players a team = 10,880 total players
x .01 = 108 guys on PEDs
lets say the test can catch 5% of users
that should be something like 5 or 6 guys a year getting busted
something like every other week you should hear another blurb about so and so get suspended for testing positive, or at least once a month, or at least a couple times a year
I feel like I follow this pretty closely, the positive NCAA tests I can think of off the top of my head: Brian Bosworth prior to the 1987 Orange Bowl, I thought Ryan Dinwiddie got suspended for some sort of PED as the QB at Boise, but that appears lost to the internet, and now Will Grier
its possible other people have been suspended, but none come to my mind
this basic math seems to lead to 1 of 2 conclusions, either far less than 1% of college players use steroids, or testing catches far less than 5% of PED users, to the point of functionally catching no one
if the second of those is the right conclusion, and its hard (at least for me) not to think that it is
its strikes me that that leads to some pretty stark implications
namely that you have 128 schools with different degrees of taboo against PED usage, and whoever sets the laxest taboo is at the biggest advantage
that everything you hear about so and so being great at spotting talent, or developing talent is a bunch of BS, and that the real key is that those are just the places that wink wink the hardest at PED users
if I was going to guess which places have the biggest PED cultures, http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/after-signing-day-wisconsin-makes-the-best-of-its-recruits/ its hard for me to think that that doesn't chart it pretty well
that if you really want to win, find an assistant strength coach form one of the top 5 or so teams on that list, then basically body shame all your players until they figure out how to put two and two together
The report points out that the NCAA conducts random drug testing and the penalties for failure are severe. Players lose an entire year of eligibility after a first positive test. A second offense means permanent ineligibility from sports.
But when you dig into the numbers, the NCAA’s roughly 11,000 annual tests amount to just a fraction of all athletes in Division I and II schools. Exactly how many tests are conducted each year on football players is unclear because the NCAA hasn’t published its data for two years, according to the AP, and when it did, it periodically changed the formats, making it impossible to compare one year of football to the next.
More confounding is that NCAA rules say players can be notified up to two days in advance of a test, which experts say is plenty of time to beat a test. By comparison, Olympic athletes are given no notice.
The top steroid investigator at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Joe Rannazzisi, told the AP that he doesn’t understand why schools don’t invest in the same kind of testing, with the same penalties, as the NFL.
“Is it expensive? Of course, but college football makes a lot of money,” he said. “Invest in the integrity of your program.”
For a school to test all 85 scholarship football players for steroids twice a season would cost up to $34,000, said Don Catlin, an anti-doping pioneer who spent years conducting the NCAA’s laboratory tests at UCLA. The total costs would be about 0.2 percent of the average big-time school football budget of about $14 million.
Caitlin told the AP he became so frustrated with the college system that it drove him in part to leave the testing industry to focus on anti-doping research.
The investigation also found that penalties vary widely from school to school. Here are a few examples:
•At Notre Dame and Alabama, the teams that will soon compete for the national championship, players don’t automatically miss games for testing positive for steroids. At Alabama, coaches have wide discretion. Notre Dame’s student-athlete handbook says a player who fails a test can return to the field once the steroids are out of his system.
•The University of North Carolina kicks players off the team after a single positive test for steroids.
•At UCLA, home of the laboratory that for years set the standard for cutting-edge steroid testing, athletes can fail three drug tests before being suspended.
•At the University of Maryland, students must get counseling after testing positive, but school officials are prohibited from disciplining first-time steroid users.