Fifteen of 86 football players test positive for drugs at North Texas

Updated: October 28, 2008, 3:29 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Fifteen football players at North Texas failed a drug test conducted earlier this fall, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.

The program, at the request of coach Todd Dodge, tested 86 of the Mean Green's players, the newspaper reported, citing source material obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.

The university did not identify the players who tested positive or what drugs they tested positive for, according to the report.

"I don't think we have a problem with drugs, but I will say that it's every coach's prerogative to test his team," Dodge said, according to the report. "It's a great tool to help players stay away from drugs and temptations. When I talked to my team about drug testing all of them, I told them that if there was one young man on our team who secretly needed help, if it saved one young man from getting in trouble or ending up dead, then it is worth it."

North Texas AD Rick Villarreal declined to comment on the test results, according to the report.

The tests were conducted from Sept. 24 to Oct. 15, the Record-Chronicle reported.

While the school normally tests athletes at random, "We call ourselves a team and it was appropriate to test the entire team," Dodge said, according to the report. "I don't go by the protocol of what every other team has done."

According to the university's student policy manual, athletes who fail a drug test must attend drug counseling and are subject to additional tests, the newspaper reported.

A second offense results in a suspension, additional testing and mandatory counseling. A third failed test results in suspension from the team while the player undergoes a rehabilitation program. A fourth positive test results in dismissal from the team and revocation of his or her scholarship, according to the report.

The NCAA drug-tested 20 North Texas players on Sept. 30. The university has not yet received the results of those tests, according to the report.