Should NCAA Sanction Universities for Marijuana Use by Their Student-Athletes?

Will PuenteContributor IIIJanuary 17, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after a defensive stop in the third quarter against the Louisiana State University Tigers during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It wasn't long ago that we heard about the three LSU football players who were suspended for a game against Auburn because of synthetic marijuana use.

It seemed unbelievable at the time, especially because LSU was undefeated and looking forward to its November 5th showdown with archrival Alabama. It was the story of the week around the SEC and all of college football.

But the story picked up more momentum when it was reported that one of the three players was Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu. The question remains today as to whether the story hurt his chances in this season's Heisman race.

Then it was Auburn's turn when the Tigers suspended running back Michael Dyer, who won the 2011 BCS Championship Game Offensive MVP. To this day, the stories are unconfirmed as to the exact reason for his sudden exit from the Tigers squad, but it has been reported that he allegedly tested positive for marijuana.

But, wait, it isn't over yet. Now, Dre Kirkpatrick from the BCS Champion Alabama Crimson Tide has been arrested on a marijuana charge.

Has this become a college football problem?

Is it just an SEC problem?

The real question is whether the NCAA should step in to keep order at individual schools. We have seen the NCAA on top of USC and Ohio State for violations that do not necessarily involve criminal activity.

The NCAA could decide that schools with student-athletes who continue to have problems with the law lack institutional control.

At the same time, however, there is an argument that these are simply kids who are making bad decisions. Or is their behavior even bad?

Marijuana use is legal under California law with a license from a medical professional. So, it is a possibility that marijuana use might be legal for some collegiate athletes in the Golden State. 

Is this fair for the rest of the country's athletes?

Something will be decided by the NCAA sooner than later on this issue, which continues to show up more often than not.