15 UNT players fail Dodge-ordered drug tests

Fifteen North Texas football players failed drug tests conducted this fall at the request of coach Todd Dodge.

Eighty-six players were tested from Sept. 24-Oct. 15. They were chosen by the coaching staff and were considered regular contributors to the team. The results of the testing were first reported by the Denton Record-Chronicle.

The school normally tests athletes at random, and the NCAA tested 20 players separately late last month. North Texas hasn’t received results of the NCAA tests.

Dodge said at his weekly news conference that he couldn’t specify the types of drugs, but later referred to them generally as “street drugs.”

“All I did was what any Division I coach has the right to do,” Dodge said. “When you’ve been around the business long enough, you look at consistency, you put two and two together and you come up with some ideas. It was time to send a message to say, ‘No.”’

North Texas (0-8) is off to the worst start in school history and tied with Washington for the nation’s longest losing streak at nine games.

Dodge, a wildly successful high school coach in the Dallas area when he took the UNT job, is 2-18 with four games remaining in his second season on the Denton campus.

According to the school’s student policy manual, athletes who fail a drug test must attend drug counseling and are subject to additional tests.

A second offense results in a suspension, additional testing and counseling. A third leads to a suspension from the team while the player undergoes a rehabilitation program. With a fourth positive test, the player is dismissed from the team and the player’s scholarship is revoked, the policy says.

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