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NCAA DI Cannibas Ban Removal Will Impact Over 20 HBCUs

NCAA DI Cannibas Ban Removal Will Impact Over 20 HBCUs

The NCAA will no longer test Division I athletes for cannabis products before its championships following a vote Tuesday by its Division I Council.

“The NCAA drug testing program is intended to focus on integrity of competition, and cannabis products do not provide a competitive advantage,” Council Chair Josh Whitman, athletic director at the University of Illinois, said in a statement. “The council’s focus is on policies centered on student-athlete health and well-being rather than punishment for cannabis use.”

Athletes who fail NCAA drug tests due to cannabinoids will no longer face penalties.

The NCAA used to conduct random testing for cannabis products only before athletes participated in championship events, such as college football bowl games and the Football Championship Subdivision tournament. Drug testing for the College Football Playoff is managed by the conferences.

During the regular season, the NCAA generally only tests for performance-enhancing drugs, but it can still test for PEDs, stimulants, and narcotics ahead of championships.

The cannabis DI ban removal will impact over 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities currently under the D1 NCAA:

  1. Alabama A&M University
  2. Alabama State University
  3. Alcorn State University
  4. Bethune-Cookman University
  5. Coppin State University
  6. Delaware State University
  7. Florida A&M University
  8. Grambling State University
  9. Hampton (VA) University
  10. Howard University
  11. Jackson State University
  12. Mississippi Valley State University
  13. Morgan State University
  14. Norfolk State University
  15. North Carolina A&T State University
  16. North Carolina Central University
  17. Prairie View A&M University
  18. South Carolina State University
  19. Southern University
  20. Tennessee State University
  21. Texas Southern University
  22. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  23. University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

NCAA’s recent change could positively impact HBCU DI athletes by reducing the stigma and legal risks associated with cannabis use. Athletes who use cannabis might face fewer legal consequences, especially in states where cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal purposes. This could prevent legal issues that might otherwise affect their ability to compete or obtain scholarships.

In terms of health and physical well-being, cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes, such as pain management or reducing anxiety. Athletes may benefit from reduced stress and improved recovery if they can use cannabis under appropriate medical supervision.

It aligns NCAA policies more closely with cultural norms in HBCU communities and may enhance athletes’ health, recruitment opportunities, and overall collegiate experience.

In addition, the Division I Council has voted to allow all Division I football coaching staff members to provide direct instruction to players during games and practices, expanding beyond the previous limit that only allowed head coaches and 10 assistant coaches to provide instruction.

This change means that teams can have an unlimited number of instructional coaches for games and practices, but the number of off-campus recruiters will still be limited to 11 in FBS and 13 in FCS.

“NCAA members continue efforts to modernize support for student-athletes, and removing restrictions on skill instruction in football will provide those student-athletes with increased resources to achieve their greatest on-field potential,” Whitman said.

“At the same time, the council determined that maintaining limits on recruiting personnel will preserve competitive balance in recruiting while also localizing decision-making around how best to maximize support for student-athletes.”

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