Here is a great article on former NC State star Chris Washburn, his disappointing basketball career and his road to recovery.
Washburn Traveled Long Road to Recovery
A 6'11" athletic monster that had an inside and outside game. This guy could've really been something.
To be honest, I think DBR is a little harsh in its assessment of Washburn as still not getting it, based on his comments in this article. It's true that ultimately what happened is Washburn's responsibility, and that stronger, more determined men might have resisted the temptations he quickly succumbed to.
But I don't really see him saying here that anyone else "made him" do this, or that he didn't fully participate in blowing his own chances--only that the culture surrounding basketball, and the willingness of people to indulge his childishness and "fix" all his mistakes, made it easy for him to do so. That's surely true.
It's reassuring to see that Washburn has, perhaps, turned the corner. I wish him the very best.
BUT that does not alter the fact that he was one of the Valvano "win at any cost" so-called student athletes. It was a disgrace to even treat him as a college student. Actions such as his signing for NCSU created a disaster for State that took many years to recover from.
Len Bias and Chris Washburn could certainly have been legends in the NBA, except for their own stupid actions. Even the legendary David Thompson followed the path of "dumb actions" while in the NBA.
I agree that the DBR take was a little harsh. Reading the article, he knows he'a at fault for what happened to him.
It's remarkable to look at the list of lottery picks that runs as a sidebar to that piece to see how many let drugs ruin their lives:
#2 - Len Bias
#3 - Washburn
#6 - William Bedford
#7 - Roy Tarpley
But, those were still the early days of serious youth drug education. Seems like most of these guys have traded the white coffee for the herb, if you believe Josh Howard's "60% of the NBA smokes" claim.
Washburn's career is also a commentary on what kind of "education" he received at NC State under Jim Valvano. People forget that prior to his early death from cancer, Valvano's program was a disgrace. He had incredibly low graduation rates, and did very little to improve his players as either students or people because he was too busy doing commercials and TV gigs to pay attention to his players. Had he cared more, he and his staff might have done something to help Washburn before he went to the NBA. Then, surrounded by easy money and drugs, it was too late.
I do not know of a single story in which a coach confronted with such a situation was able to deal with it constructively, not one.
It burried the Lefthander and his brightest star.
In Washburn's case, he says in this article that once he got a taste of cocaine, college was over for him. Shortly thereafter he applied for the early draft. Nope, V's ambition might have caused him to recruit Washburn but I don't think that you can lay Washburn's demise due to cocaine at V's feet.
I know we cannot discuss public policy but as a parent at least be aware that having your kids take D.A.R.E. probably does nothing but there is a LOT you can do.......you can't outsource this one
Last edited by Bob Green; 07-16-2010 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Fix quote tag
That said, it was kind of scary to investigate the brain-imagining research that has been done on habitual users of weed, teenagers especially. Dr. Amen, just search "Amen clinics", a noted physician/psychiastrist researcher, PBS regular, and read em and weep. The effects on important portions of the brain, as in no brain cells where there should be millions upon millions, is vivid.
The data on the addictive quality of regular weed use, while much disputed, is also out there. Given that the boutique "hot house" plants and the pursuit of developing ever more potent plants, smoking ain't what it used to be. The potency of the hot-house products has lead to a takeover of the deep interior of the forests out West by the Mexican drug cartels who embed growers in remote areas who build elaborate irrigation systems that are used at night to avoid detection by in-flight heat sensors if done during the day; the cartels can no longer "afford" the costs of importation as they compete with more the sellers of the more potent brands by lowering the price.
Strange world. Dangerous too.
Last edited by Bob Green; 07-16-2010 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Fix quote tag
As for the war on drugs, that is a joke. It isn't a war. In a war you try to kill the enemy. Until they start to shoot drug dealers in the street it is not a war. Calling it a war is a disservice to anyone who has been in a real war. It is a failed police action. America wins it's wars when the military is allowed to fight them, we tend to lose the police actions when we are restricted by the politicians. There are many ways we could win the drug battle, but I am afraid that the american people do not have the will power to do it. Maybe we should just throw in the towel and legalize everything....
Last edited by oldnavy; 07-17-2010 at 07:33 AM.
USA Today article says Denver has 250 outlets and Boulder around 100. The state has issued over 60,000 cards to folks who have a doctor attest that they have a valid medical need. Growing marijuana for medical purposes is also legal.
The state legislature is now trying to figure out how best to limit the number of dispensaries and to prevent doctors from specializing in writing prescriptions for its use. Apparently, writing Rx for medical marijuana has become the focus of some doctors' practices.
My brother is an attorney in Colorado and just got back from a seminar on medical marijuana suffice it to say the situation in Colorado is a mess. But we as a country kind of deserve what we are getting why marijuana was not just labeled a schedule II (or III) drug and allowed physicians to write for it and be carefully monitored is indefensible.
FYI a partial list of Schedule two drugs: cocaine, morphine, opium, oxycontin, phencyclidine (PCP), dextroamphetamine. It was pure politics that medicine was not added to this list and had no scientific basis and the result when you make medical decisions based on poor politics is predictably poor.
The DEA schedules medications in as one of the following classes:
Schedules I-V. Schedule I meds have a very high potential for abuse, which outweighs any potential medicinal benefit (DEA's judgment). As a result, you cannot get schdule I meds from a physician unless you are part of an approved research protocol. Heroin is an example of a schdule I medication, although in the UK heroin is prescribe for pain control. The "potential" for abuse decreases as the schedule number increases. You can actually buy certain schedule V meds without prescription (Codeine based cough syrups for example) by signing for them.
Then you have legend drugs that require a prescription and OTC (over the counter) meds that you can buy without a prescription. Within the legend class, there are sub-classes that certain restrictions are placed on providers for prescribing. For example, a provider must be registered to prescribe isotretinoin products (acne, Accutane) and even with that several steps must be taken prior to issuing a prescription or dispensing the prescription due to the birth defects caused by the medication.
By the way, you can get Marinol by a prescription in every state (schedule III). Marinol is dronabinal a cannibinoid in an oral dosage form. It is used for appetite stimulation in AIDS/cancer patients and for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.
PCP is technically a tranquilizer (originally of the veterinary type) which had some interesting side effects. As such, for many years it DID have a legitimate use and was therefore Schedule II. Methaqualone, aka Ludes, also started out with far less control (including OTC in Germany! - think original "Mandrax" of the 1970s), then was a Schedule II drug before later moving up to Schedule I.
Once the potential for abuse becomes the overriding factor, the DEA can up a drug to Schedule I status. There are many drugs in Schedule I which are there simply because they have NO legitimate accepted medical use (such as LSD), but neither PCP nor methaqualone fall into that category. As noted by others, even heroin is still available via prescription in some countries.
So far as I know, both PCP and opium (not the cough syrup stuff) are currently in Schedule II of the federal CSA.
[QUOTE=greybeard;422414]V had his faults and some of them might explain why he recruited Washburn in the first place. However, no one was prepared to deal with the new scourge that cocaine-abuse posed to young athletic stars, no one. ...I do not know of a single story in which a coach confronted with such a situation was able to deal with it constructively, not one. ...It burried the Lefthander and his brightest star.
In Washburn's case, he says in this article that once he got a taste of cocaine, college was over for him. Shortly thereafter he applied for the early draft. Nope, V's ambition might have caused him to recruit Washburn but I don't think that you can lay Washburn's demise due to cocaine at V's feet.[/QUOTE]
Agree with the closing sentiment.
And before too many here display too much sanctimony... please remember that everybody was recruiting Washburn back then, who was a top-5 "can't miss" recruit out of HS -- including young Coach K. In fact, I recall a Sports Illustated article that came out about him after he'd committed to State but, I think, before he started playing. From the article you could see immature cracks in the fascade, some which soon were amplified with the in-college stollen stereo incident (that we had a lot of fun with in Cameron...), but mostly I remember cringing as the article quoted from a K note to CW after watching CW at a HS game, perhaps pumping up the young kid's ego by referencing one of the cheerleaders who seemed to really like him.... You just know that if K was playing to the ego and immaturity, then others were doing it in spades! Clearly this young man was not ready to be on his own and to have all of that money, and living 3,000 miles from home. (I was living in the SF area at the time and just howled when I saw the Warriors draft him so high that year (not in delight mind you). Pretty sad tale all-in-all.
I wish him the best.
And to be fair to V, he didn't exactly start with the same material in terms of scholar-athletes as a K or a Dean Smith. So maybe a little slack would be fair.... (One of my funnest V stories was as a student in CIS, when V walked on the court during the pre-games soon after the CW stereo incident, a bunch of us held up album covers - yes, I realize about 1/3 of you just said "What are those?!" - that were going to be tossed on the floor during CW's introduction. Even though he'd probably seen similar fan treatment in previous games, V just stopped, gave a mock look of horror, and then bent over laughing. Say what you will, but he just was a very hard guy not to really like.
http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html. It may have been approved for human use before my time or I just do not remember it being available for human use (I graduated pharmacy school 1985). I misspoke in my other post, Opium in it's raw form is a schedule II med (not schedule I), but I know of no commerically available product consisting of "opium". There are many products that contain opium derivatives, such as codeine, morphine, hydromorphone, et,al.
Last edited by oldnavy; 07-19-2010 at 06:36 AM.
It must still be available for vet use since it has not been moved to the schedule I list, but I am not familar with vetinary meds since that falls outside my normal practice.