SOURCES: Penn basketball suspensions due to failed drug tests

A highly reputable source has 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. The official word after the game was that these five players were suspended for violating team rules, which Penn coach Jerome Allen did not elaborate on in his postgame press conference.

Two sources close to the team did not comment specifically on the reports that five players failed drug tests, citing that Allen had told those with knowledge of the incident to say only that "it was a disciplinary action that [Allen] took due to them not following a team rule." Penn Director of Athletic Communications Mike Mahoney also did not comment on the reports of failed drug tests.

Many unknowns still remain, including when the tests were administered, what drug(s) or masking agent(s) were identified from the test, when Allen notified the players of their suspensions and whether the tests were administered by Penn or the NCAA.  A failed drug test administered by the NCAA would result in the players losing one full year of eligibility effective on the date the urine sample was given. The NCAA does not require schools to drug test their players, nor are those schools required to report the results of drug tests to the NCAA.

However, 90 percent of Division I schools have their own drug-testing programs independent from the NCAA. Additionally, NCAA Bylaw 10.2 requires schools to follow their own institutional policies and protocols for drug violations if they have them.

The Penn Athletics Compliance Office's 2012-13 Review of Rules and Regulations Governing Intercollegiate Athletics states that Penn "does not promote drug-testing of its student-athletes except when there is cause or suspicion of abuse." The guide does state 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.

Mahoney told the Daily Pennsylvanian that he assumes the drug policy being enforced is "at University-level," and he does not think the NCAA has authority to decide what punishments are given on alcohol or drug-related matters. Mahoney added that coach Allen "has been in touch with his superiors," who "are aware of the reasons for the suspension and support him on his decision."

Penn Assistant Director of Athletics/Compliance D. Elton Cochran-Fikes was not available via phone and did not immediately return an email asking to clarify Penn's policy.

Two sources close to the team have also said that they expect the suspensions to be lifted for all five players for Penn’s next game at Wagner on Saturday. The matchup would mark the suspended group’s first game action since the Quakers’ 68-55 home loss to Villanova on Dec. 8. The decision to play the five after a one-game suspension would suggest that the reported drug tests were not administered by the NCAA.

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

Megan Soisson also contributed to the writing and reporting of this article.

25 thoughts on “SOURCES: Penn basketball suspensions due to failed drug tests

  1. If all they did was get caught at a party (alcohol is included as banned substance), Guttman better clear them to play for Wagner. Do you see what athletes at other schools do? The Florida Gators football team had like a million ARRESTS this year. Let these kids play! Sheesh this remind me of when Jeff Schiffner was nearly banned by the NCAA for playing in a pickup basketball game for charity.

  2. Another dark and ominous cloud to appear over Penn MBB.

    This is truly regretabble. If true, these student-atheletes deserve the punishments they deserve.

    Guys, if you are gonna do it -- Dont get caught !

    This certainly doesnt look good on Allen, who already is having a complete DISASTER of a season

    And good luck to the DP trying to get Fikes to comment. The next time he says anything of substance (pardon the pun), will be the first.

    Perhaps Tannenwald will emerge from his museum-hopping excursion in DC to shed some light on this matter, assuming he has anything to share.

  3. Ooops -- typo -- still a little out of it following my semi-monthly massage

    Meant to say
    This is truly regretabble. If true, these student-atheletes deserve the punishments they RECEIVE

    Apologize for the confusion from the above contribution

  4. And one final tidbit on Fikes.

    Those in the know like to tease him and call him DECaF....
    A bit of a cute play on words (POW)

    I have another POW for Fikes, but for now, i will refrain from sharing.

    Denis is a good guy. Just carries a bit of a "lightweight reputation" internally. One of the greatest ever to lace up the spikes for Penn Track

  5. Lighten up guys I was joking around!

    As long as they weren't drinking the night before a game, let them live!

    And with that 2-9 record maybe a couple drinks the night before and even a massage might be a good idea. Works for the NBA guys.

  6. The lack of rebounding is a much bigger "cloud" over the team than going to a party, which happens to make me like those 5 particular kids more. But that's just me.

  7. We apparently have a phantom FOJL lurking in the interwebs!

    I did NOT author the contribution from December 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm.

  8. @ Arthur Goldblatt
    I take a therapeutic massage session two times a month, usually on Friday evenings. Wonderful for my body and mind. Thank you for the contribution!


  9. Sybill - Thank you for the contribution. I am not sure if there is a Bizzaro FOJL on the loose (OTL). I merely wanted to clarify the matter as I did not post those comments at 11:42 pm last night. I also dont advocate a few cocktails prior to the game.

  10. Definitely a wrongdoing by the DP/Buzz to reveal the information in this way when its all speculations, they're just making it worse for the program and players. Who knows it may not be drugs. Stop thinking you guys are a real source of news

  11. Thanks to everyone for their contributions. I did author all the posts - sometimes I get a bit lightheaded after one of my massages.

    I want Megan Soisson to be drug tested by the DP, my sources are telling me this article is inaccurate.


  12. ONCE AGAIN We apparently have a phantom FOJL lurking in the interwebs!

    I did NOT author the contribution from December 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    And i certainly dont think the talented Ms Soisson needs to be drug-tested.

  13. Don't know what's more intriguing - what did the Penn players really do, or which FOJL comments are bonafide?

  14. Sybill - Thank you once again for the contribution.

    If we want to know what the penn players did we certainly CANNOT count on Megan Soisson to deliver us the story.

    And for the impostors, imitation is the finest form of flattery.


  15. I am really disappointed in them. Seriously, you are a college athlete. You are not just representing yourself, but the rest of your team, your college, and your community. While some players are out due to injuries, it really sucks that you will be out for something as stupid as drugs. Put the joints down and practice. Penn Basketball is one of the best in the Ivy League and this type of behavior is unnecessary and serves as a distraction to the rest of the sport. Fine, don't comment but failing a drug test speaks volumes. I have faith that Coach Allen will get everything right, but the players really need to get it together!

  16. Pingback: Morning Five: 12.31.12 EditionRush The Court | Rush The Court

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