The latest doping revelation in the NFL raises some serious concerns. Brian Cushing, the Houston Texans linebacker, violated the NFL’s anti-doping policy last September. His suspension was announced earlier this week and after playing the entire season (after his positive test), he was voted the Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press.
First off, what caused the delay from the failed test in September to the announced suspension in May? There should be due process, but to the point where a cheater can play the entire season and then be punished does not seem right.
Secondly, after playing the entire season, Cushing was voted the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Associated Press didn’t like being duped so they decided to have a revote for the award. After the revote was taken, Brian Cushing was still the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Having a revote makes sense. However, the voters in the AP made a mockery of the system by praising and rewarding a cheater. When Marion Jones admitted to cheating, she was stripped of her medals. There was no revote or determination of her worthiness. She cheated and was properly disciplined.
Apparently that is not how the voters of the AP feel. Their vote in essence rewards cheating. If Cushing was suspended for a quarter of the season and didn’t have the numbers he had, he would not be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Yet, after knowing he was dirty, didn’t sway the needle to a clean player.
Maybe next time the AP voters will take their vote seriously and reward a clean player rather than a dirty one. If not, message is heard loud and clear: performance over values. My grades: A for effort, but F for execution.