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NFLDraftBible.com Retracts Drug Reports, Apologizes

It’s fitting, we suppose, that one of the strangest pre-draft episodes would end in such an unusual manner.
With the final list of positive drug tests from the Scouting Combine not containing the names B.J. Raji, Vontae Davis, Clay Matthews, or Brian Cushing, a couple of media companies have been left with egg on their egos.
SI.com had the incorrect report on Raji; NFLDraftBible.com reported erroneously the positive as to Raji and the other three.
And with SI.com offering up a tepid (in our opinion) “correction” to the story without uttering the word “apology” or any variation thereof, NFLDraftBible.com has handled the aftermath more honorably.
In so doing, NFLDraftBible.com went farther than it needed to go, retracting even the report as to Florida receiver Percy Harvin, even though he did indeed test positive.
Here’s the entry from NFLDraftBible.com: 
“The NFL Draft Bible retracts its initial report that several players tested positive at the NFL Scouting Combine, as our sources were incorrect.
“The NFL Draft Bible has been accurately delivering news stories for years and has relied upon dependable sources in the past.  It is unfortunate that negative information was circulated and as a result, the NFL Draft Bible made a mistake.
“As publisher of NFL Draft Bible, I Rick Serritella would like to personally apologize on behalf of the NFL Draft Bible to all of the players mentioned in the report.”
Though the retraction probably should have mentioned the names of the players in question in an effort to fully clarify the record, Serritella did a good job of falling on the sword. 
But his retraction also demonstrates the recklessness of his reporting on this issue.  No one should rely on information being “circulated” when it comes to important questions regarding the use of illegal drugs or other prohibited substances.
It’s one thing to be wrong about a trade or a free-agent signing, it’s quite another to incorrectly report information that can harm a player’s reputation in the community, his draft stock, and/or his endorsement opportunities. 
Bottom line?  It’s not enough to rely on whispers and rumors when it comes to matters of this nature.  When in doubt, the prudent course is not to go with it unless and until you’re damn sure of it.
We hope that Raji, Davis, Cushing, and Matthews will adopt this more prudent and cautious approach if/when they acquire ownership of NFLDraftBible.com as part of the settlement of their potential lawsuits against it.

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18 Responses to “NFLDraftBible.com Retracts Drug Reports, Apologizes”
  1. EverybodyGotAIDS says: Apr 22, 2009 12:14 PM

    I would also like to publicly admit that I, Rick Serritella, am the one who let the dogs out. I, Rick Serritella, also started the fire. It had not, as previously reported on NFLDraftBible.com, been burning since the world’s been turning. I, Rick Serritella, apologize for any harm these reports may have caused.

  2. TCLARK says: Apr 22, 2009 12:18 PM

    South Park fans may get this.
    Moo Moo.

  3. dawk20db says: Apr 22, 2009 12:21 PM

    It’s probably also a good idea to be damn sure that a person is dead before reporting it…eh?
    Sorry, it’s like any joke from the office or seinfeld…it never gets old…right?

  4. rsa says: Apr 22, 2009 12:21 PM

    I predict no lawsuits will be filed. The NFL will see to that. Things could get very messy and embarrassing for the NFL if they have to open their kimono on the whole process. The week delay releasing the results to teams smells to high heaven…

  5. EskinSux says: Apr 22, 2009 12:22 PM

    The bottom line is…..Throw some shit on the wall, hope it sticks, and if it does, perhaps you can enhance your servers, get a few more hits, etc. Matters not it’s at a crucial point of a young mans life, when all he has worked for is tarnished by mindless rumors and innuendo….I’m sure Terry Bradshaw would agree…..

  6. Hosstyle in Tampa says: Apr 22, 2009 12:24 PM

    I remember reading that all these players tested positive, right here on PFT.com…
    Florio, do you escape culpability due to the fact that all the items on PFT are cited and pulled from other online publications? (honest question, not being sarcastic or rhetorical)

  7. TheRon says: Apr 22, 2009 12:30 PM

    But it’s OK to reproduce said story without verification from a completely unreliable source, and allow millions of people, who otherwise would have no idea that these reports existed, to unnecessarily associate these players with drugs.

  8. Shaun Lowrie says: Apr 22, 2009 12:32 PM

    This reminds me of that book I read: ‘Relationship stress and how to deal with it – by Prof. O.J Simpson’

  9. spo says: Apr 22, 2009 12:32 PM

    I wonder how the partial ownership will work out… haven’t you heard? Cushing and Matthews don’t share with no durned black man!

  10. jimicos says: Apr 22, 2009 12:42 PM

    Don’t you think you owe some apologies as well, Mike? How is spreading false information from other sites better than inventing it yourself?
    For example, how many additional views did this story get thanks to your coverage of it? I have to assume more people hit PFT than NFL Draft Bible. So although you didn’t strike the match, you certainly poured gasoline on the fire.

  11. bender says: Apr 22, 2009 12:46 PM

    “When in doubt, the prudent course is not to go with it unless and until you’re damn sure of it.”
    Great advice…
    Florio, you talk to Bradshaw lately?
    I kid i kid.

  12. jeanpierre says: Apr 22, 2009 1:06 PM

    Probably watching to much Mission Impossible, but…
    Did anyone ever consider this has been one big mole hunt?
    Various lists are given and based on what names leak, that’s your mole?

  13. Bob_Nelson says: Apr 22, 2009 1:44 PM

    I’m sure Terry Bradshaw appreciates your position on reporting these rumors.

  14. Elaw6 says: Apr 22, 2009 1:49 PM

    If if the players were smoking pot before games, what does it really matter?

  15. ZN0rseman says: Apr 22, 2009 1:56 PM

    “We hope that Raji, Davis, Cushing, and Matthews will adopt this more prudent and cautious approach if/when they acquire ownership of NFLDraftBible.com as part of the settlement of their potential lawsuits against it.”
    If these players could so easily own NFLDraftBible over this, then George Bush already would own the television networks ABC, CBS and NBC for all of the crap they put out about him over the years, like making false National Guard documents about Bush from the 1960’s… using Microsoft Word 2000.

  16. sportsbook says: Apr 22, 2009 2:55 PM

    Alright, they apologized, let’s all move on.

  17. TheOther1 says: Apr 22, 2009 11:34 PM

    No, let’s not move on until everyone realizes how this impacts on two fronts:
    1) If you are a “respectable” person in this business weather you are a blogger/podcaster, own your own site, or work for a major outlet, why would you release info that not only damages a person’s life if it’s a lie, raises questions about your own credit.
    and 2) (and this one all of us in the Biz should be concerned about) Makes it more difficult for “mainstream sports media” to want to talk to us “New Media” types for fear we might “screw the pooch” so to speak….
    and ihad just that very conversation at least year’s NFL media Lunch with someone …..

  18. brasho says: Apr 23, 2009 7:44 AM

    C’mon Florio, you know the law… the plaintiffs would have to prove that they were affected financially (the real report vindicated them so that won’t hurt them): negative, or hurt their public standing (does anybody actually read NFLDraftBible? plus they retracted the statement so anybody that does read the site would get the real info): negative. I doubt they get sued for two reasons, they would have a hard time proving they were affected… and I doubt the site is worth much.

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