There have been ongoing discussions regarding the expansion of Cal Poly Athletics’ current drug testing policy after five Cal Poly football players allegedly attempted to rob a fraternity house on Sunday, Cal Poly Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman said.
According to Oberhelman, he has met with football head coach Tim Walsh and director of sports medicine Kristal Slover to discuss additions to the policy, which would apply to all Cal Poly athletic teams, not just the football program.
One change considered was adding the drug benzodiazepine — an ingredient often found in Xanax, a drug at least one witness mentioned during the investigation of Sunday’s incident — to the list of banned drugs already in the department’s drug testing policy.
The current policy already prohibits the use of several drugs in classes such as stimulants, anabolic agents, alcohol and beta blockers, diuretics and masking agents, street drugs, peptide hormones and analogues, anti-estrogens and beta-2 agonists.
According to Oberhelman, benzodiazepine is the only drug Athletics plans to add to the list for the time being.
“At this time, we are just going to focus on (adding benzodiazepine),” Oberhelman said.
Another topic the group discussed was how often drug testing should occur.
Though he did not provide specifics on changes to frequency of testing, Oberhelman did say it would be more frequent than in the past and student-athletes would continue to be chosen at random for testing.
Oberhelman elaborated on Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong’s statement about expanding drug testing within the football team. Oberhelman said the whole team will soon undergo a drug test in response to the situation, and then random testing will resume.
According to Oberhelman, the school needs to “see if we have a culture that accepts this kind of behavior” within the team.
Oberhelman also discussed the possible link between Sunday’s incident and the shooting of ex-football player Geoffrey Hyde in 2013. Hyde was shot in what police said may have been a drug deal gone bad.
Whether or not there was a connection, things still needed to be fixed and revised in the team and drug testing policy, Oberhelman said.
As far as discipline, along with San Luis Obispo Police Department investigations and procedures, the five football players will primarily go through the university’s disciplinary procedures. But Athletics can also take further action such as deciding whether or not to keep the players off or on the team, Oberhelman said.
Oberhelman did not comment on whether the scholarships of the five football players would be rescinded.
While Armstrong had his own public statement, Oberhelman had his own view on the situation.
“I think this reflects poorly on our program,” Oberhelman said about the attempted robbery. “We still have gentlemen who are doing things right.”