By Ross Kelly
Oregon’s football coach, Mark Helfrich is known for his easy-going demeanor and low-key personality. He’s certainly no Saban or Meyer when it comes to outlandish quotes are grabbing headlines. But during the Pac-12’s media days last week, Helfrich made some comments that are sure to attract attention.
Helfrich said he was told that of the four teams in the inaugural College Football Playoff last season, his Oregon team was the only one that was drug-tested. He then asked for uniformity regarding the matter and that every team should be on the same playing field when it comes to drug tests:
“If one team is tested in the College Football Playoff, everybody should be tested in the College Football Playoff,” … A holding penalty is not 10 yards in the first quarter and 25 yards in the fourth quarter. There is some element to that right now.”
The holding penalty analogy is in regards to NCAA-run drug tests as opposed to school-run tests. Obviously, the NCAA ones are stricter in terms of the test itself and the corresponding penalty. Helfrich sees his Oregon squad as receiving the 25 yard penalties for not passing NCAA drug tests while the other three teams in the CFB were assessed 10 yard penalties for not passing their internal drug tests.
While we don’t know for sure that Alabama, Ohio State, and Florida State were not tested during the Playoff, but we do know for sure that Oregon was tested. The evidence comes by way of Oregon WR Darren Carrington getting suspended for the Championship Game for failing an NCAA-run test. By rule, he is also suspended for the first half of the 2015 season. Had Carrington failed an Oregon-run test, then the team would have determined the severity of his punishment. Carrington and Oregon are currently appealing the suspension.