Cal Poly administrators made the right call in deciding to expand drug testing for football players in the wake of the arrests of five team members allegedly involved in an armed robbery. There’s been speculation that the suspects may have been after the prescription drug Xanax.
On Tuesday, the university announced plans to test the entire football team for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs, including Xanax. That will be more expensive than the random testing currently done, but given the situation, the extra cost is the least of Poly’s concerns.
Since the incident, rumors and questions have been circulating about illegal drug use by Cal Poly football players. Team-wide testing will provide an opportunity to put those rumors to rest and will help the university send a strong message that drug abuse by student-athletes will not be tolerated.
While we wait for answers, it’s important to remember that those remaining football players who are on the field representing Cal Poly need the support of their fans now more than ever.
As Poly linebacker Nick Dzubnar told The Tribune: “It sucks that we’re in this situation, but if we could all as a community come together, come to the games and still support us, that would be huge.”
We agree, and we toss bouquets of green and white carnations for the fans to wave in the stands.
Serenity during election season
We all know that orchids breed serenity — that’s why they’re practically mandatory in spas, yoga studios and DMV offices. So in lieu of bouquets, this week we’re distributing one orchid to each eligible household in San Luis Obispo County. (A household must include at least one registered voter in order to qualify for this special, one-time offer.)
With a little luck, the blooms will have their calming effect right up to Election Day. As much as we appreciate hard-fought political campaigns, between the fliers stuffed in our mailboxes; the robo-calls that ring just as we’re sitting down to eat or play Spider Solitaire or watch “The Walking Dead”; the endless sound bites and slogans; and the signs from dueling candidates on every corner, by the end of the day we could use a huge dose of serenity.
BTW, we haven’t forgotten those courageous and energetic souls responsible for all of the above. As a special offer to candidates, we’re making their orchids doubles with a side of rose petals and a yoga DVD.
Unopposed, but still winners
In other election business, we extend our congratulations — along with bona fide bouquets — to local political candidates who have already won their respective races by virtue of running unopposed.
In Arroyo Grande, incumbent Mayor Tony Ferrara is guaranteed another term, and in Paso Robles, Councilman Steve Martin will take over for incumbent Mayor Duane Picanco, who is running for council instead.
In Grover Beach, the sole City Council candidates on the ballot, Mariam Shah and Barbara Nicolls, will replace termed-out incumbent Bill Nicolls (Barbara Nicolls’ husband) and Glenn Marshall, who decided not to seek re-election.
But not to worry, there are still plenty of interesting local races on the ballot: Former Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals is challenging incumbent Debbie Peterson; Jan Marx is vying for another term as mayor in San Luis Obispo; Lynn Compton faces incumbent Caren Ray in a potentially game-changing race for Fourth District county supervisor; and more than a half-dozen agencies, including Cuesta College, have tax measures on the ballot.
With all that’s going on, there’s no excuse — absolutely none — for not voting. If you don’t bother to cast a ballot, no orchid for you.
Instead, you’ll get a potted brickbat.