Quite a day they had at North Texas today when Todd Dodge and other officials revealed the football team had 15 positive drug tests over a month of testing in late September and earlier this month.
Fifteen is pretty bad, but the real mind-blower was hearing Dodge himself decided to test 86 players, basically everyone on scholarship (UNT has 80 this season due to APR penalties) and a few more. The entire process took over three weeks.
Let's see, any volunteers out there in the Big 12, SEC, C-USA or (ahem) Mountain West care to drug-test their entire teams? Didn't think so.
After hearing Dodge today, I'm wondering how this initially played out. Apparently, there were performance issues in practice and probably in games (UNT is winless) that led either Dodge or staffers to believe the wacky weed was being passed a little too much on personal time. What does a doped-up football player exactly look like in pads and a helmet? He must be pretty darn easy to tackle.
In all seriousness, this is somewhat fascinating, given Dodge may have unwittingly created a headache for his slicker-funded colleagues out there. If voluntarily testing one's entire team grows legs as a national story and it's widely revealed you can do this for about $2,500, might reporters covering every program in the FBS ask coaches or ADs what the heck is taking so long? Without even knowing it, Dodge could be a trendsetter.
He isn't, however, a coach willing to sacrifice players to lower the heat for an 0-8 start. For starters, UNT was 0-3 when the testing procedure began. I actually read this moronic assertion on a message board -- one that from personal dealings has some of the most irrationally vitriolic and misinformed/misguided inhabitants found in cyberspace. This particular theory deserves a felony arrest by the stupid police.
Was Dodge naive to put himself and UNT under this kind of a public microscope? Maybe. Was it the right thing to do now that we know he had legitimate concerns about a struggling program he's run for less than two seasons -- and one that we now also understand could use an off-field scrubbing, too? Unquestionably.
Just say no, kids.