OU football: Lincoln Riley talks about future of drug testing in NCAA
NORMAN — OU coach Lincoln Riley sees changes coming to the NCAA's drug testing policy — specifically for marijuana — but he doesn't know when they will happen.
"I do think it’s going to happen," Riley said in a press conference Monday. "When is everybody’s best guess. If you look at the trends in other sports, I think you would certainly say probably sooner rather than later. It just seems to be the way that the world’s going."
Riley also said that players with a medical marijuana card are not currently exempt from drug testing.
"As far as marijuana testing, we’re operating in a different world than it was 10, 15 years ago," Riley said. "It’s so many things obviously around that, with laws, availability, the perception of it. I mean, everything’s changed."
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Riley said he and his staff look at things like this with a focus on the wellbeing of the student athletes.
Giving an example, Riley said that if a player had a problem with alcohol — something that isn't necessarily illegal per NCAA rules — the staff would work with that player and talk to him about things like putting ones self in good situations and healthy living. Overall, the staff could do more to help that player.
With the ramifications of a positive drug test, the same is not true for marijuana.
"Like we do with every part of our program, we’re trying to evolve," Riley said. "We’re not saying 'well, we’ve just always done it like this so that’s how we’ll do it.' We’re trying to improve and make sure we’re doing everything we can for our student athletes. I don’t know that I have all the answers right now. These are evolving, and it’s something we’ll continue to look at to make sure we’re doing the best that we can."