On Friday, Jarrett Bell of USA Today reported that the Texans have conducted a “sweep” of the locker room in search of banned substances.
More specifically, the Texans want to eradicate from the premises any substances other than league-authorized supplements.
The term “sweep” implies a nook-and-cranny process that includes searching lockers. The relevant quote from owner Bob McNair to Bell also suggests that the effort extended more broadly than the items residing in plain view.
“We’ve gone through the locker room and anything that wasn’t
manufactured by the two or three that are authorized are thrown out,” McNair said. “They can’t have it in the
locker room at all. Even though it might be something that’s pretty
innocuous, you just can’t run that risk. You just don’t know what’s in
some of these products.”
Peter King of NBC reported during halftime of the Tulsa-Notre Dame game that, according to Texans G.M. Rick Smith, the lockers weren’t searched.
It’s wise that the Texans didn’t search lockers. At a time when the relationship between the league and the NFLPA falls somewhere on the overt animosity scale between Favre-Childress and Hatfield-McCoy, no team should do anything that could stir up the union.
Still, without a search of the lockers, how effective could the “sweep” have been?
The move also potentially cuts off one of the time-honored excuses relied upon by players who test positive for banned substances: “I took an over-the-counter supplement that had been spiked.”
Or maybe not. Since there’s no way of knowing what guys take on their own time or store in the privacy of their own lockers, the effort is more ceremonial than substantive.