William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HGH and other steroid abuses found in all levels

As we all get ready for the holidays and the college coaching merry-go-round seems to have slowed it’s wild end of season run, I hope all involved in the big changes can get everything going the right way.

When you read this the bowls will have started their thirty-two game run. It’s always fun to listen to the pundit’s banter about a playoff system and how much we need one or the many reasons why we don’t. I am one who believes we need a true playoff system for this level of college football.

The NCAA changed the naming of what used to be Division I and Division I AA. The top level is now Division I Bowl and I AA is now Division I Championship. For whatever it’s worth, it makes sense.

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The NCAA levels that play a championship game schedule start with sixteen teams and whittle it down from there. And the finals are, sorry, were played last weekend. All of these end their regular seasons around mid-November.

All in all, a playoff system could be done in the top level but it would require such an overhaul of everything from the end of the regular season that I seriously doubt it will ever happen. But you just never know.

As a lover of the game of baseball, I was very interested in the report that was released from former Senator George J. Mitchell who has been investigating steroids and other performance enhancing substance in Major League Baseball. The report is over four hundred pages and it appears to be based on a ton of hearsay with little that could be “admissible in court.”

Whatever the conclusions, I just hope it will put an end to all of this so the game can move on the right way. I’ll bet it won’t end for a while because of more suits and hearings on these allegations than I think any of us want.

The problem though is this problem is not only in Major League Baseball. The NFL has an extensive testing policy but as in baseball, HGH or Human Growth Hormone cannot be detected in tests.

Recently there was a former Olympic athlete stripped of her medals due to a positive test for a banned substance as was cyclist Floyd Landis denied his win of the 2006 Tour de France.

Unfortunately this junk is found in all sports and not only at the professional level. There have been reports of college and even high school athletes going the illegal route. It’s a terrible trend that will take a huge effort to end.

The users are basically few and far between these days but it’s them that tarnish all athletics. Like the old days of going to the airport to pick up my dad from a business trip.

I would love to go to the gate and watch the plane taxi in, see the ground crew do their jobs and watch for him to come off the plane. But a few have made it hard on the majority with all the security we have now. Oh well.

I hope it is a very happy holiday time for you all that read my piece here. All I ask to remember the reason for this wonderful season. And a very Merry Christmas from me.