Earlier this week a promising young football player was told his offer to play for Aubrey University was being rescinded because of his medical marijuana prescription. Now, the school is trying to backtrack, saying that's not what happened.
C. J. Harris is a young football player who had received a preferential walk-on position with the Aubrey University team. But, as his father stated earlier this week, that offer has been taken back because his medical marijuana prescription puts him in violation of the National College Athletic Association's (NCAA) drug policy.
"You're taking something away from a kid who's worked so hard in his life to get there," Curtis Harris told WGXA. "And you're just taking it away because he's taking a medication that's helping with his disability."
Now, Aubrey University is claiming that Harris's prescription was not the reason his offer has been retracted. Instead, they state it was due to his underlying condition. As a person with epilepsy the school did not want to subject him to potential head trauma.
In light of the football industry's frequent struggles with cannabis the explanation given by Aubrey university seems unlikely. NFL free agent Mike James was recently denied an exemption that would allow him to use medical marijuana for chronic pain management. This is despite the evidence that shows NFL players have a high likelihood of developing opioid addictions, and cannabis has been shown to be a more beneficial alternative for players.
Following the news of Harris' rejection Phil Gattone, president of the Epilepsy Foundation, has come to Harris' defense, asking the NCAA to review their cannabis policy.
"We hope the NCAA would reconsider their decision and assess C.J. on his character and talent as a football player."