USNA player’s failed test causes ‘uproar’

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Luigi59, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    USNA player’s failed test causes ‘uproar’

    Navy Times
    By Philip Ewing
    Wednesday Jan 27, 2010

    A Naval Academy football player is being permitted to continue as a midshipman even after testing positive for drug use, according to multiple sources and Web sites that have sprung up to criticize the decision.

    According to the sources with knowledge of the situation, the player smoked a cigar packed with a mixture of pot and tobacco — also known as a “blunt” — deeply enough for the drug to show up on a random urinalysis test performed in December. But he told Naval Academy leaders he didn’t know what he was smoking was marijuana and is being permitted to continue at Annapolis, the sources said.

    Naval Academy spokesman Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said he could not comment about disciplinary matters involving midshipmen because of privacy regulations. However, in a written statement, he made clear that the letter of the law states that a sailor or mid must know he’s taking an illegal drug to run afoul of the standards:

    “The Navy and Naval Academy have a ‘zero tolerance policy’ in regards to drug use, which means that any service member who is suspected of drug use will be administratively processed for separation,” Carpenter said. “This does not mean that there is a policy of mandatory separation — only that the service member be processed for separation. However, the Navy’s illegal drug policy requires the commander to ascertain if a service member knowingly consumed an illegal drug. This aspect is one of several issues that must be established for the commander to determine if the Navy’s drug use policy was violated by a service member.”

    The board that oversees discipline for drug offenses recommended that the football player be expelled as a result of his violation, but Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler intervened and decided he should stay, according to multiple sources. People with knowledge of the situation also said the player already had three honor code violations before failing his drug test.

    “This kid should’ve been kicked out a long time ago by anyone’s standards — and now he gets away with a failed drug test? It’s ridiculous,” one person told Navy Times.

    It was the latest example of what critics have said is a culture of special privilege at the Naval Academy for its star athletes, who are said to escape punishment for the same transgressions that get their classmates ejected. Many midshipmen — including even other members of the football team, according to one source — are “in an uproar” over the situation.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Oh geez....the Commander said "zero-tolerance"....

    we try to generally avoid that statement.

    You bolded the perfect part of the article.
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I'm not liking this news. Personally, my take is that you are responsible for what you put into your body. I could understand if a "factory made" cigar was altered, but I'm having a hard time believing that this was the case. And if he didn't figure out the smell in the air wasn't tobacco, I wonder what he was smoking. Oh, that's right he didn't ask what he was smoking.

    It almost gives new meaning to the phrase "Don't ask (what's in the cigar) don't tell."

    If the kid has multiple honor code violations, you begin to wonder where this guys sense of trying to do the right thing is when he does this.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Certainly indicates how to get out of punishment for testing positive for drug use....

    "I thought I was snorting Pixie Stix, I didn't KNOW there was cocaine mixed in."
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    :rofl:
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    From CDR Salamander:

    "Would this have happened if we didn't have an important member of the football team? I doubt it, but who knows. It would be interesting though to see the results of positive urinalysis cases over the last, say, five years to see what exceptions have been made.

    I think the smart money is that we have another case of throwing away hard earned integrity to play football at a level a Service Academy has no reason playing."


    and from the Facebook page Zero Tolerance - Zero Exceptions:

    "Recently a sophomore football player at the United States Naval Academy tested positive for marijuana. Unlike the countless that came before him, he was not dismissed from the Academy.

    This is a classic example of favoritism based on sports, or overall "worth" as a student. This string of actions represents the lack of consideration and respect that the United Stated Naval Academy's administrators have for the rest of their students, and the lack of integrity and honor these same administrators hold for themselves.

    Whether or not you believe in a zero tolerance policy as an appropriate policy for a university or not, is beside the point. It is a matter of respecting the contract and promise made by each student to uphold the alleged integrity of the United States military, and it's Naval Academy.

    Exceptions cannot be made based on the worth or the entertainment value of the excuse made as a pathetic attempt to excuse oneself from rules that are clearly laid out for every individual in the military.

    We, as students, join this group and state our discontentment at the rampant abuse of power and privilege that the administration and particulars of the student body at the United States Naval Academy have used in their favor, and the harm in which they have inflicted on the student body as a whole.

    Those who have upheld their honor and promise to remain drug-free while remaining a student at the Academy and member of the United States military deserve more than this.

    Sam may say "it is what it is." This is no excuse for dishonesty, favoritism and dishonor.

    Everyone must come together and voice their opinion and enforce the fact that they do not approve of such actions.

    This is not an opinion on drug use. This is a group representing those who do not believe that some students should be treated with unequal opportunities and second chances."


    According to the email published at CDR Salamander, the Mids are being told rather forcefully NOT to participate in the Facebook group, or face "severe consequences."
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    THREE honor violations, and they are still there?!
     
  8. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Exactly my thought!! Less concerned about the drug use, but ONE honor violation is too many for me. THREE? :confused:
     
  9. Meg0427

    Meg0427 New Member

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    A marijuana blunt and a cigar look nothing alike nor are they smoked in the same way. A better lie would have been "I ate some brownies that contained marijuana and did not know until I felt the effects" At least that would have been halfway believable.
     
  10. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Of course.

    And cigar smokers don't pass around their cigars. It's just not done.

    More from Cdr Salamander:

    The Annapolis Capital newspaper has named the player, in a front page article: Positive drug test for Navy grid star - Annapolis Capital

    Clearly, this was a case of a star player on a Division 1 football team given preferential treatment by the Supe, over the objections of the honor board and the Commandant.

    Shameful.

    Any other Mid would have been kicked to the gate forthwith.
     
  11. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I'm somewhat confused, but as I'm not a USNA graduate, could someone answer something for me? At VMI, if you are found guilty of an honor violation, you are expelled. There are no lesser punishments. How is it possible to have three violations and still be at the school? Really, how is it possible to have one violation and still be at the school? Does USNA not expel someone if they are found to have violated the honor code?

    This is a little off the topic, I realize.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Right Sprong, except in this midshipman's case...he wasn't.
     
  13. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    That was very much the case when I was at WP back in the 80's. But it sounds like these days, for several of the academies (including WP), the new buzz word is "Rehabilitation". As in second chances or "we can teach them from this experience". A new, gentler honor code. :rolleyes:
     
  14. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Interesting.
     
  15. Kero

    Kero Member

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    For the honor code it depends when it happens and the severity. A 1/c will get kick out for about anything, but a plebe would have to do something very bad to get kicked out. Since he's only a 3/c he obviously got counceling. Three times is a lot though and shows a pattern of behavior.

    Also, not only was he not kicked out he wasn't even maxed out, the article said he only got 21 days restriction and 100 demerits.
     
  16. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I don't know - when I was at WP, it wasn't when and what. About the only exception would be during Beast or if a plebe was under a lot of stress and popped off with an answer that they later realized was wrong (ie asked if they shined their shoes that morning and they said yes then later realized it was the previous night). Other than that I really don't think there was any leniency or "he was only a plebe" or "it wasn't a major lie" :confused:

    Really, there might be some variance on whether or not something WAS an honor violation (hence the boards, and all the classes trying to define the "grey area" of the honor code - the whole "attempt to deceive" thing), but if the board found you guilty of an honor code violation then you were out. Period. Never heard of any cases any differently while I was there.
     
  17. sprog

    sprog Member

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    This was how it was at VMI as well. The Honor Court, which is a group of elected first and second class cadets, prosecute the alleged violation if there is enough evidence to substantiate a charge of an honor code violation. The accused cadet is given a trial before a jury consisting of a randomly selected group of 7 cadets (at least I think that's how it worked in my day). The accused has access to legal counsel (which can be provided at no cost), and if he is found guilty that's it, pack the bags.

    This might shock some folks, but VMI also does a thing called a "drum out." Essentially, once a kid is found guilty of an honor code violation, the Honor Court wakes the entire Corps of Cadets up at about 0300 with a loud steady drumroll. Then, it is announced curtly that the cadet in question was found guilty of the honor offense and had "placed personal gain above personal honor." The speech concludes with "he has left the Institute in shame, and his name will never be spoken within the four walls of Barracks again."

    This is the best deterrent against lying, cheating, or stealing that you could ever hope to have. When I saw this for the first time as a Rat, I nearly peed in my shorts. It's harsh, I'll admit...but necessary when dealing with an honor code violation. I'm a pretty understanding guy on a lot of things, and I certainly believe in forgiveness if it is warranted. That said, guys who lack the ability to keep their honor intact don't belong at one of the SAs/SMCs...and the mid in question should have been expelled long before his most recent incident.
     
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    He must be one helluva football player to still be there after accumulating 435 demerits, 3 honor code violations, and a positive drug test in just over 19 months at the academy.

    From CDR Salamander:

    "One report is a rumor. Three reports a trend. When I get above a half-dozen reports and phone calls - well, that is a story. It is especially a story when all of my primary sources are not bitter, angry, anti-Annapolis types. No; to an individual these are people who deeply love the Navy and USNA. They are sad, frustrated, and feel that their institution is once again selling its soul for superficial reasons. For reasons that make no sense to them, honor and integrity is being sold for a silly game. Yes, my friends - this also has to do with football."

    :rolleyes:
     
  19. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    Honestly, for anyone to try and claim that they didn't know they were smoking pot is complete garbage, and I find it ridiculous that he has not been expelled already if this is true (especially considering how he should have already been expelled after those honor violatoins :eek:).
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    1. D1 Football makes money.

    2. The violator is a $tar D1 football player.
     

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