News of the lawsuit filed against the Saints for allegedly covering up the misuse and/or theft of Vicodin from the team’s in-house drug locker raised serious questions regarding the manner in which NFL teams manage potent narcotics.
The arrest of Chargers safety Kevin Ellison serves only to amplify the problem.
According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, agent Jerome Stanley claims that Ellison had 100 Vicodin pills because he wanted to have enough on hand. Ellison had knee surgery after his final season of college football.
“He thought it was a good idea to get enough pain killers to last the
season,” Stanley said. “They were for him to use
because of his knee surgery.”
We’re not sure which “season” Stanley was referring to. Spring? Summer? If he means the 2010 football season, Ellison will likely need a lot more than 100.
Ellison supposedly did not want to “go back and forth” to the team for the medication, and he didn’t want to “have to bother anyone” for the pills.
Regardless of Ellison’s explanation, the implication is that the Chargers issued Ellison 100 Vicodin pills at once. And the question becomes why they’d give him so many, especially since he’ll be at the facility on numerous occasions as part of offseason workouts.
So while the details on this one remain to be sorted out, we tend to think that more teams should follow the approach that one unnamed trainer shared not long ago with Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. Teams shouldn’t keep their own supply of prescription medications. They should simply have prescriptions issued by a physician directly to each player, and the requisite amounts should be provided to the players on a daily or weekly basis.