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Law

Alleged pot use on Ducks football team draws national attention

The University of Oregon’s athletics director is responding this morning to a story alleging widespread pot use among Ducks football players.

The article in “ESPN The Magazine” rehashes some familiar incidents – including the legal run-ins of former quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli and Darron Thomas. It highlights safety Cliff Harris’ infamously saying “we smoked it all” to a police officer, when asked to hand over marijuana.

But the article goes further – it opens with a scene of an unnamed player celebrating the Ducks’ recent Rose Bowl win by smoking pot. And the story says numerous current and former players believe that about half of the team smokes pot on a regular basis.

The article suggests pot may be less of a problem under current coach, Chip Kelly. An unnamed player tells the magazine that Kelly “cracked down.”

U of O’s athletic director, Rob Mullens, released a statement saying many colleges are “wrestling with the same issue."

He says that U of O is doing what it can, but can’t do random testing under Oregon law.

Rob Manning has been both a reporter and an on-air host at OPB. Before that, he filled both roles with local community station KBOO and nationally with Free Speech Radio News. He's also published freelance print stories with Portland's alternative weekly newspaper Willamette Week and Planning Magazine. In 2007, Rob received two awards for investigative reporting from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and he was part of the award-winning team responsible for OPB's "Hunger Series." His current beats range from education to the environment, sports to land-use planning, politics to housing.