Gus Malzahn: Auburn medical staff wouldn't clear walk-on with epilepsy

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn speaks at a press conference before the GEICO 500 NASCAR Talladega auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, April 29, 2018, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

A player trying to join Auburn’s football team as a walk-on was not cleared by the team’s medical staff to play football.

C.J. Harris was hoping to join Auburn as a preferred walk-on. Harris suffers from epilepsy and has been taking cannabis oil to treat his seizures. He said he wouldn’t be able to pass an NCAA-mandated drug test because of the cannabis oil and was having to look for a different avenue to chase his college football dreams.

According to Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, that’s not really the story.

“He wasn’t cleared by our medical staff. That was really the bottom line,” Malzahn said Wednesday at SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida, via the Ledger-Enquirer. “It didn’t have anything to do with anything else like some people reported.”

Harris said he’s had 14 seizures. But they stopped in January of 2017 when he started taking the cannabis oil to treat them. And NCAA rules prohibit a player from having more than a minute level of THC in his or her system.

It may very well be true that Harris could test positive for THC because he’s taking cannabis oil. But it’s a moot point if Auburn wasn’t going to clear him to play. If you’re not on the team, you can’t be drug tested by the NCAA.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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