By Ken Reed
Is there any organization in America that lacks common sense more than the NCAA?
Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. But I’m continually amazed at the stupidity of the NCAA and its member institutions.
The latest example to cross my desk is the case of C.J. Harris. Harris was recruited by Auburn to play football as a preferred walk-on. Harris was thrilled about the opportunity, especially since he’d been battling severe epileptic seizures since middle school. In recent years, he was able to get his seizures under control by using cannibas oil (CBD). CBD is the medicinal part of marijuana. It’s distinct from THC, the part of marijuana that gets you high. A bonus was the fact the CBD oil didn’t result in the multiple side effects that Harris was experiencing while on traditional medicine for his epileptic seizures.
However, after Harris submitted his medical records, Auburn reneged on their offer, citing the NCAA’s rules against THC use among athletes. The CBD oil that Harris uses “contains less than 0.3 percent THC, according to the label.”
Harris and his family have been sharing information about his condition and the benefits of CBD oil for his epileptic seizures with the media, legislators, Auburn coaches, etc., all to no avail. Auburn doesn’t want to fight the NCAA on the matter and the NCAA has its collective head stuck in the sand on the topic.
As a result, Harris will be watching Auburn play football from the stands or on TV next season instead of being on the sidelines with teammates.
It’s a sad, unnecessary, and easily fixable situation.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.