No energy drinks for you

How strict NCAA drug policies get players in trouble

Minor offenses in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) could leave players suspended over course of play, especially during playoff season.

If you turned the TV on during winter break and flipped to any sport network, odds are there was a bowl game played between two Division I college teams. With locations varied from Hawaii to Florida and the importance of each game different, it is still an experience for the student-athlete, whether it is playing the National Championship or even just the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. However, with new strict rules from the NCAA, some of these experiences may been thwarted.

Each student athlete is required to submit drug tests just like at the professional level, whether it is scheduled or spontaneous. Hearing this information is normal, since athletes should not be on any sort of steroid or growth hormone that would potentially offer them an advantage over their opponent. But these tests do not just test for those drugs; they also test for whether or not the student athlete had an energy drink.

According to the NCAA banned substance list, Guarana (a major source for concentrated caffeine) is listed as one of the drugs that a student-athlete should not ingest, and if it shows up positive during a drug test, they could be looking at a possible game suspension.

As normal students stay up late to catch up on homework and need an extra boost, they may turn to caffeine to get that boost to keep them awake, or to give them the “pep in their step” the morning after. As for student athletes, along with their busy schedule of practice, traveling, games, etc., they do not have the luxury of being able to chug an energy drink to get them going, since caffeine could make them end up in the kind of trouble none of them want. On top of this, athletes are advised to not eat everything bagels, as poppy seeds may show up on the drug test as opioids when ingested.

As there have been no reported incidents at Ferris, it is still a struggle that its athletes must endure day in and day out. Triple checking any label to make sure they are in good standing and would have nothing to worry about could become repetitive over time; to make sure there’s absolutely no caffeine is a tad obscure.