As Dastro pointed out:
The implication is that Bowling was allowed back because he was a star player. The truth is he was a walk-on who was finally awarded a scholarship only months before his arrest. That scholarship was rescinded upon his conviction. After completing the terms of his sentence and re-enrolling at OSU, he requested and was granted a meeting with Gundy and Holder. He asked to be allowed to rejoin the team. This request was granted with a number of stipulations — including mandatory weekly drug tests. He returned as a NON-SCHOLARSHIP walk-on.
Now for Victor Johnson. The story implies that his second positive test for marijuana gave the OSU coaching staff a convenient excuse for dismissing a player who was injured and no longer producing on the field. Not mentioned were his multiple arrests during this time frame for possession, DUI and obstructing a police officer.
Was Johnson’s treatment substantially different than Bowling’s? That is impossible to say. Had Johnson re-enrolled at OSU after resolving his legal issues and then sought a meeting with the coach and athletic director, he may well have been allowed to rejoin the team without scholarship under the same restrictions that Bowling faced. Instead, Johnson chose to continue his playing career at Northeastern Oklahoma State, a NAIA school in Tahlequah, Okla.