Safety C.J. Harris was set to be a preferred walk-on at Auburn as part of its 2019 class after helping lead Warner Robins High School to a Georgia state championship, but Cam Gaskins of WGXA in Macon, Georgia, reported the school said he couldn't play because he was using cannabis oil to treat epileptic seizures.
The presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the oil meant he wouldn't pass NCAA-mandated drug tests.
However, his father told TMZ Sports Harris would switch up the medication he takes if it meant he would be able to play college football.
"He wants to play," Curtis Harris said. "He's gotta find a way and he's willing to find something that doesn't have the THC in it. We don't want to look back and say we didn't try, but C.J.'s health is most important."
According to Gaskins, Harris tried other medications to no avail until taking the cannabis oil after he suffered his 14th seizure in January 2017. He has not had another seizure since he started using the oil.
Despite the report about the oil and presence of THC, Brandon Marcello of 247Sports reported the reason Harris won’t be joining Auburn is actually that the team physician didn’t medically clear him out of fear for his well being with epilepsy in a sport associated with head trauma.
"Harris' use of medicinal cannabis oil was not the issue at the time, the source said," Marcello wrote. "The prescription was never discussed by Auburn’s medical staff because he was not cleared after reviewing his medical history."
Harris' father told TMZ his son will look to attend a prep school for a semester before either going to Auburn for football or attempting to play at another school.