A Warner Robins High School senior was forced to give up his dream offer after the NCAA chose to rescind their initial proposition because of the football player’s existing medical condition.
C.J. Harris said he was diagnosed with epilepsy after his fourth seizure in high school and took a variation of different medicines to treat his condition. However, after his 14th seizure, medical officials prescribed him cannabis oil on January 20, 2017 and he has yet to experience another epileptic episode.
Life was looking up for the Georgia safety after he helped lead his football team, the Warner Robins Demons to a state championship last year and received a full walk-on opportunity from his number one picked college, Auburn University. Nevertheless, Harris soon learned the medication he intakes would unfortunately affect his college football career.
“When I read the text that one of the coaches sent me, I just, I broke down… Because this is my dream, and I saw everything lining up perfectly for me,” Harris told WXGA.
The football player’s father Curtis, was contacted by college coaches and was told his son would not be able to play any athletics due to the NCAA guidelines regarding Harris’ cannibal oil prescription. The father said it was one of “the hardest thing I’ve done.”
“You’re taking something away from a kid who’s worked so hard in his life to get there… And you’re just taking it away because he’s taking a medication that’s helping with his disability,” Curtis said.
The NCAA regulations specifically state that athletes aren’t allow to have traces of tetrahydrocannabinol in their bodies. Although Harris’ medication contains an extremely small percentage of THC, he won’t be able to pass the NCAA’s drug test.
The football player isn’t giving up and is looking into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to be able to play football. His plan is to look for alternative medications for his condition so he’s able to compete in the professional league one day.