.

Ain't No One Making Me Pee Into a Cup!

And our children shouldn't be subjected to it, either.

For the record, I avoid legal drugs of any kind. I haven’t laid eyes on as much as an antibiotic in over six years. And the best reason for my boycott are those insipid TV pharmaceutical ad addendums. With side effects like that, I’ll take the disease, thank you very much!

Sure, I might have “inhaled” once or twice in my long-gone youth, but that turned out to be an entirely worthless proposition. If I really want to get hungry, lazy and paranoid, I’ll just watch Fox News.

As for narcotics, I have enough trouble with this reality, let alone having to contend with a second.

Though there’ve been threats to revoke my hard-won opinion columnist credentials, I pretty much just say no to hard liquor, too. For most 53-year-olds, the negatives far outweigh the fleeting benefits.

So even though I have nothing to worry about, the one thing I can say for certain in this life is I will never subject myself to the humiliation of a drug test in any way, shape or form.

It just ain’t gonna happen!

And no son of mine (I don’t have daughters) will ever be randomly tested for performance enhancing drugs by a group of urine “collectors” sanctioned by the obviously incompetent IHSA, either.

The April 11 farce to which I’m directly referring started with Geneva High School being randomly selected as their most recent drug-testing site. I can just see those IHSA mopes now, sitting at the bar, eating their chicken wings, lighting up a camel, and drinking a pint of Guinness as they pull a high school name from the hat.

If I could say I’m not trying to illustrate the height of hypocrisy by juxtaposing our questionable choices with the far higher standards we thrust upon our children—with a straight face—then I’d certainly be IHSA material.

But I can’t.

And just when you think it can’t get any worse, they “randomly” select 12 lucky student athletes—not even a baker’s dozen—to undergo the performance-enhancing drug testing.

There are 24 separate GHS sports programs, which means there are somewhere around 1,200 student athletes. And somehow testing 1 percent of that population is supposed to be an effective method of deterring the school-wide steroid abuse?

I’ll take those odds any day!

Here’s a thought. Remember when Sammy Sosa morphed into Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight and suddenly started hitting home runs in every at bat? There are certain visibly obvious side effects that go along with steroid use, not the least of which is a massive personality change. Perhaps then, random testing might not be the best methodology if for no other reason than it doesn’t work and something else does.

Now, put yourself in your 14-year-old daughter’s new Nikes. It’s her first year of high school, and she’s thrilled to be a part of the top-flight cross country program like the one at GHS. Then, one day, a stranger shows up with a beaker and says, “Don’t worry honey—just pee into this while I stand outside the stall.

If you harbor any doubts as to just how humiliating the testing process is, please click on this link and scroll down to Appendix A (page 7) where the procedure is laid out in 30 separate points. Yes 30!

Let’s just say I hope your son doesn’t have a shy bladder! Because if he does, he could be forced to drink a “sealed fluid approved by the collector,” and the “collector” will stand there until he “complies.”

And the results are supposed to be confidential! You mean, just like Lance Armstrong’s confidential 2001 Tour de France test results that were splashed all over a French newspaper despite that fact that WADA is supposed to be a consummate professional organization?

It’s not like the IHSA has ever been involved in any kind of scandal before. Oh, no! Well … other than all those missing tickets at an AA boys soccer final, the lack of any investigation into that Antioch High School grade tampering, the fact that they can’t provide referees capable of stopping racial taunts at St. Charles soccer games, the missing 1995 AA state wrestling final, the fact that Springfield had to intervene after the IHSA tried to illegally restrict the use of press photographs … Should I go on?

Tell you what, School District 304! You tell the IHSA that academic institutions aren't gulags and any form of drug testing in those hallowed halls doesn’t fit into your mission statement. It makes innocent kids feel like criminals, and it serves no purpose other than to make folks who couldn’t find their way out of a locked car feel like they’re doing something about a problem when they’re actually doing less than nothing.

Please tell those excellent district teachers that they’re doing a fine job bringing my boys up to speed on subjects like quadratic equations and chemical compounds. But when it comes to moral issues like taking performance-enhancing drugs, that’s my job, and I resent the random testing implication that I’m not doing my job.

You’ll know I need your help when I specifically ask for it. Until then, I’ve got it covered.

The irony is, while I certainly don’t need anyone to protect me from myself, we  sure need someone to protect us from the likes of the IHSA. As the kids might say, “guilty until proven innocent sucks!”

Jeff Ward April 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Just and Theo, Let's not lose sight of the main issue which is random drug testing is unconstitutional. Just because someone said it isn't doesn't make it true. No one in the country is guilty until proven innocent. That said, here's what I want you to do. Get your doctor to prescribe an anti-inflamatory steroid and take it for just one week. That's long enough for the side effects I'm talking about, but not long enough to do any real damage. Then report back. Jeff
Ken S April 17, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I know they do that for football and I assume they do it for all sports. When Geneva played in the state finals in football a few years ago my son was randomly chosen for a drug test after the game.
Jim Ryan April 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Bob Although your logic to close this case extremely fallacious, it does uncover an excellent opportunity whereby the city of Geneva can reduce its tax requirements on the residents. Since we now know that Geneva teenagers don't use drugs, we can now get rid of any city budget-related law enforcement programs (and people). I just wish there was someone who could thrust your findings under the collective noses of city hall. On another note, I don't know that a FOIA to determine the number of student athletes would produce anything other than a number(whether it's 300 or 1800), the point of this opinion piece is related to subjecting high school athletes to meaningless tests. When the athletes that today's teens want to emulate flunk these same tests, there is always high stakes legal wrangling aimed at overturning the results so the party can continue.
Bob McQuillan April 18, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Jim "There are 24 separate GHS sports programs, which means there are somewhere around 1,200 student athletes." When an opinion piece states numbers as fact, they should be verified. The school drug sweep results are as realistic as random testing of athletes. Both provide false hope that any real problem is being handled.
Pat Ryan April 18, 2012 at 09:08 PM
A drug test isn't a conviction. It's like having to blow for a BAC test on the side of the road. Blowing into the breathalizer doesn't send you to jail. Driving drunk does. Taking a drug test doesn't mean you take drugs. Taking drugs means you take drugs.

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