I spent a lot of my free time yesterday reading the comment thread on indystar.com following the article about drug use on last year’s team. I don’t often have time ot read through people’s comments on articles like that, but I was curious as to people’s reactions to this story as I was still trying to decide how to react myself. I think I’ve decided, but I want to talk about the comment thread first.

If you have some time, I recommend you take a look. I read through 26 pages of comments. I have no idea how many are there now, but 26 seemed sufficient to me. The reactions to the article basically fell into the following categories.

1.) Journalism student at IU who was critical of the grammar in the headline. He was also upset that as someone who is preparing to enter the workforce, that he wasn’t able to get an interview with the Star because of his “lack of experience.” There was quite enough discussion about his opinion of the headline, but what struck me was that he seemed legitimately offended that the biggest paper in the state of Indiana (Packer Method) would expect him to have some sort of portfolio before considering him for a position in an industry that is bleeding money. Kids today, they don’t want to start at the bottom and work their way up. They was to start at the top and work their way sideways.

2.) The conservative wing of the state of Indiana who condemn drug use and think that we should forfeit every game played by people who have used drugs, and don’t seem to realize that drug use and college go hand in hand for the majority of students. I’m not saying they aren’t right that college athletes, or college students in general shouldn’t be using drugs, but I am a realist. As Jimmy would say, I mean, come on.

3.) The Spock-With-A-Goatee to the group in number two. This group decided this was the forum to lobby for the legalization of marijauna. To be fair, most people who fall into this category deem every discussion as the proper forum for this argument. I would, however, question their decision to make this argument to a bunch of people who are pissed at the people who are alleged to have done the drugs and not likely to see any argument favorably that doesn’t point out their innate douchiness.

4.) Those who think this isn’t a big deal because everyone who has graduated from IU has at least one story of seeing an IU basketball player at a party. The libel police should raid these comment threads. I once saw Landon Turner do a speedball of a hooker’s ass. My favorite one of these was the guy who claimed to have seen a picture of Bracey Wright snorting coke.

This seems like a good time to tell my Todd Lindeman story. One weekend a friend of mine was coming to Bloomington and we were looking for a party. He jokingly suggested we call “The Neck” (Thus named because Dick Vitale once said that Lindeman wasn’t a true seven-footer because he had such a long neck) as we heard he was at a lot of parties.

We found a party to go to at one of the apartment complexes. We walked in the door and who do you think was manning the keg? Award yourselves 50 points if you said Todd Lindeman, Give yourselves 100 if you called him “The Neck.”

5.) Those who think EJ is wearing a big Rastafarian hat in the middle of Sonic Youth’s set at Homerpallooza. NARC!!!

and 6.) Purdue and Illinois fans who thought it was funny.

Where do I come down on this story.

A.) They don’t say who it was but the penalty for testing positive twice is a three-game rip. There were two guy who got three day suspension last season for unspecified reason. I’m not naming names, but 2+2=4.

B.) They don’t say what the drugs were, but I find it highly unlikely it was just pot. Eric Gordon will be 20 years old next week (He shares his birthday with both Jesus and Donna Martin) It is incredibly improbable that having gone through high school in America that he has had no contact with the stoner crowd. He’s bound to know people who smoked pot. That being the case I can’t image he’d be so shocked or offended by that that he felt the need to talk about it a year later. That just doesn’t make sense.

C.) I’m disappointed that they were doing whatever they were doing, but let’s just add that to the list of things that disappointed me about this group of guys. I’d like to pretend to be surprised by this, but I just can’t get there.

D.) I don’t think the drugs were the mitigating factor in last season’s melt down. There’s an American Indian in Milwaulkie who gets to wear that hat.

E.) We all want IU basketball players to be great role models to the kids who look up to them. We want them to represent the university, the state, and all of us well, so we hold them to a higher standard, which I think is appropriate, but the guy who used the Packer Method to come up with the fact that 75% of NBA smoke pot, is right. Drug use in college is rampant and statistically speaking there are a few kids on every team in America experimenting with things that aren’t legal either.

So, I’m bothered by this in gut, but when I let the information get all the way to my head I just can’t be too surprised about it. I just hope the guys Coach Crean recruits from now on make better decisions.

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