The United States Supreme Court has weighed in on the ongoing StarCaps saga, and the United States Supreme Court has decided not to weigh in.
According to Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Supreme Court has declined to accept an appeal regarding the decision to allow certain claims to proceed in Minnesota state court.
For those of you who have discovered the NFL only recently, the StarCaps case arose in 2008, after six players tested positive for a banned diuretic that secretly had been added to an over-the-counter weight loss supplement. The NFL knew about the presence of the banned substance in the supplement, but the NFL did not specifically warn the NFLPA or players specifically about the situation.
As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the existing Minnesota state court action based on technical aspects of Minnesota drug testing laws will continue. Currently, an appeal is pending regarding a decision that essentially represented full victory for the NFL. But the four-game suspensions imposed nearly two years ago against Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams continue to be deferred until the appeal is finalized.
Even if the U.S. Supreme Court had agreed to accept the appeal, the matter would not have been resolved prior to the end of the season, meaning that the Williamses still would have been available for the balance of the year. With Pat Williams, 38, sending out strong indications that he’ll retire after the 2010 season, it won’t matter to him if the suspension ultimately is upheld.
The situation continues to have relevance to Saints defensive end Will Smith. Though the league received clearance last year to suspend Smith (along with former Saints defensive end Charles Grant) as part of the federal case that preserved the Minnesota claims of the Williamses, the league decided to wait in order to avoid the impression that different standards apply.
And now you can wake up again.