Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1990


This article will focus on the particularly complicated question of the legality of drug testing at state universities. State universities comprise a significant number of the universities involved in intercollegiate athletics at the major conference level. The state university at the same time is a branch of the state and operates under color of state law. As such, its actions fall under the additional scrutiny of the constitutional principles contained in, and incorporated through, the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution. In examining the legal significance of drug testing of student-athletes at a state university, this article will closely examine the announced drug testing program at Ohio State University. The Ohio State program represents one of the most comprehensive involuntary drug testing programs of student-athletes by any state university.

This article goes beyond what has become the traditional focus of fourth amendment scrutiny. It will explore additional issues concerning Due Process associated with testing techniques and the imposition of sanctions, and will explore Equal Protection issues which might be raised concerning the testing of student-athletes only.