From the Buzz: Sources question whether Penn basketball suspensions due to alcohol

Original sources maintain drug tests triggered suspensions, alcohol still an NCAA Banned Drug

· December 29, 2012, 5:07 pm

Yesterday we reported that a highly reputable source told the Daily Pennsylvanian that Miles Cartwright, Henry Brooks, Tony Hicks, Darien Nelson-Henry and Steve Rennard were all suspended for Penn basketball’s game at Delaware on Dec. 21 after failing random drug tests. Now the Daily Pennsylvanian is hearing from various sources that alcohol may have played a role in the suspensions. Our original sources, though, maintain that positive drug tests triggered the suspensions.

However, alcohol is still a banned drug according to the NCAA Banned Drug List and Safety/Drug Testing/Resources/NCAA banned drugs list and Safety/Drug Testing/Resources/NCAA banned drugs list. As reported yesterday, the Penn Athletics Compliance Office’s 2012-13 Review of Rules and Regulations Governing Intercollegiate Athletics states that “those found to have used banned or street drugs shall be declared ineligible for further participation in regular-season and postseason competition,” but does not clarify whether this is a University or NCAA policy. The guide also states that ““Student-athletes who abuse alcohol or who possess or consume alcohol illegally may have their eligibility suspended.”

Alcohol would constitute a drug violation that would force Penn to follow NCAA Bylaw 10.2, which, as noted yesterday, requires schools to follow their own institutional policies and protocols for drug violations if they have them. Penn Director of Athletic Communications Mike Mahoney told the Daily Pennsylvanian yesterday that the suspensions were coach Jerome Allen’s decision, and it is this NCAA Bylaw that would allow him the latitude to decide the penalty for the players’ use of banned drugs. Mahoney also neither contested nor confirmed yesterday’s report.

We’ll continue to report on the suspensions as more news breaks.

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