Rehab Only Concern for NCAA Football Star

Loose Ball: Getting clean means more than playing football for Louisiana State star Tyrann Mathieu.

Tyrann Mathieu (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Smoking weed when you face drug-testing and your million-dollar job is at risk sounds crazy. Yet, former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Lomas Brown estimates that at least 50 percent of the league indulges. Recent media reports indicate increased usage among college football players in general and NFL prospects in particular.

“Marijuana use is almost epidemic, with more guys having tested positive for marijuana at some point in their college background than I can ever remember,'” a longtime team personnel man told Sports Illustrated. “It’s almost as if we are having to figure out a new way to evaluate it as part of the character and background report, because it’s so prevalent. There’re enough instances of it that it’s hard to know how to set your board. You can’t throw out that many guys. You have to go case by case and do your homework on them.”

Mathieu rolled ’em up and rolled the dice until he got caught. He could’ve continued to take his chances at another school and hope the drug usage doesn’t affect his NFL stock. A much better plan is to kick the habit and not worry about failing tests anymore.

I don’t advise it, but players can smoke all the weed they like once their playing days are over. But risking their careers before they even begin makes no sense at all.

Deron Snyder’s Loose Ball column appears regularly on The Root. Follow him on Twitter and reach him at BlackDoor Ventures, Inc.

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