Williams, McBean lawsuit may claim Tebowmania-driven delay in ruling

Reuters

Much can and will be written and said in the coming days and weeks regarding the six-game suspensions imposed on Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams and defensive end Ryan McBean for allegedly violating the league’s steroids policy, especially since Williams and McBean will file suit against the NFL in federal court on Monday.

Though the lawsuit, which will request that the suspensions be overturned under the Federal Arbitration Act, will focus heavily on gaps in the chain of custody regarding the samples, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the case also may include an allegation that the NFL attempted to delay the issuance of a ruling in order to avoid disrupting the Broncos’ 2011 playoff run, led by quarterback Tim Tebow.

Williams’ statement hints at this contention in claiming that “[t]he hearing officer . . . engaged in inappropriate communications with top NFL officials about this matter without my knowledge or approval.”

The steroids policy, we’re told, requires a ruling within five days after the hearing.  The hearing was held in December 2011.

According to a separate source, it’s possible that the league sought a delay because of negotiations with the NFLPA regarding broader issues relating to the league’s steroids policy.  Regardless, Williams and McBean will argue that the league failed to issue a ruling on a timely basis, and that the NFL improperly communicated with the hearing officer (Harold Henderson, who also is a league employee) regarding the cases.

Most importantly, a week after the NFL pulled back the curtain on the Saints’ three-year system of putting bounties of opposing players, the Williams and McBean case could (key word, could) generate evidence and/or argument that the league manipulated their suspensions in order to help one of the 32 teams.

UPDATE 9:07 p.m. ET:  NFL spokesman Greg Aiello provides the response to the notion that the league delayed the decision to help the Broncos in one word.  “Ludicrous,” Aiello said.

20 responses to “Williams, McBean lawsuit may claim Tebowmania-driven delay in ruling

  1. Yeah. The NFL wanted them to not make it to the Super Bowl so badly that they got the Broncos believing it; flying in a QB w/4 neck surgeries to try and hold hostage as their Super Bowl answer.

  2. Wait. You’re mad that the NFL delayed suspending you because you were in the playoffs?!

    Why would you be angry about that?

  3. is it just me or does anyone else think the nfl has gotten crazy the last two years? There has been so much drama the last two years its driving me crazy

  4. The literal only motive is to get away with taking steroids.

    The bad ones never quit blaming others.

  5. Though its a great sport, the NFL administration is the epitome of hypocrisy.
    I wouldn’t put it past them to delay the results to ensure higher viewership of their games

  6. So.. You’re telling me DJ Williams was on the sauce and STILL stunk of the field all year last year? unacceptable, this guy is coverage is laughable and other than some big hits he’s not worth even starting. Now knowing this, without sauce he’s got no shot in the NFL.

  7. Sounds perfect for the Patriots and their Magical “healing” ways. Lol, remember when Seau’s arm was backwards for the Dolphins, and the next year he’s a starter for New England? Funny how things work.

  8. The non human results must of came from mixing his and tebows samples. The nfls simple mortal equipment can’t fathom tebows divine urine.

  9. bearsrulepackdrool says: Wait. You’re mad that the NFL delayed suspending you because you were in the playoffs?!

    Why would you be angry about that?

    LoCoSu@%s says:Though its a great sport, the NFL administration is the epitome of hypocrisy.
    I wouldn’t put it past them to delay the results to ensure higher viewership of their games.

    LoCoSu has provided your answer.

    We’ve seen time and time again Goodell interpreting NFL policy based on perceptions rather than reality, and in this case, based upon putting revenues ahead of due process and a failure for him to follow his own rules

    In this case the players might assert that their delayed adjudication has impacted their careers in some adverse way – future income lost by delaying a decision, etc.

    … it’s really a legal maneuver to get the case dropped and illustrate the hypocrisy of the Commissioner’s office. But it’s one that should resonate with the ultra-thin skinned Commissioner who makes decisions based on League profit decisions and public opinion polling from the looks of it

  10. I eagerly await the twin geniuses Clark and Harrison tweeting about how the Broncos beat them in the playoffs only due to cheating. I think I’d better not hold my breath. Fellow Pats fans, you probably know exactly what I’m referring to.

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