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

Broncos' Williams recovers a fumble and celebrates with Woodyard during the second half of their NFL football game against the Dolphins in Miami 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.

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20 Responses to “Williams, McBean lawsuit may claim Tebowmania-driven delay in ruling”
  1. machester52 says: Mar 9, 2012 7:20 PM

    The U.

  2. denverdave3 says: Mar 9, 2012 7:23 PM

    Good grief, just what we needed. yet another opportunity for those mindless puns about Tebow… here they come.

  3. rollore says: Mar 9, 2012 7:23 PM

    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.

  4. bearsrulepackdrool says: Mar 9, 2012 7:24 PM

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

    Why would you be angry about that?

  5. katrinasafterbirth says: Mar 9, 2012 7:26 PM

    Probably the fault of the thin air…or they’re just cheaters like the Saints.

  6. gmen1987 says: Mar 9, 2012 7:26 PM

    This should really help convince Peyton to go right toward the Bronco circus. Not!

  7. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 9, 2012 7:29 PM

    Al Sharpton says the samples wouldn’t be described as “non human” if they came from Tebow.

  8. sadskinsfan89 says: Mar 9, 2012 7:30 PM

    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

  9. unfkwthabl says: Mar 9, 2012 7:35 PM

    I just want to watch football.

  10. themonster49 says: Mar 9, 2012 7:39 PM

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

    The bad ones never quit blaming others.

  11. LoCoSu@%s says: Mar 9, 2012 7:57 PM

    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

  12. 6ball says: Mar 9, 2012 8:04 PM

    .

    Bought from Belichick …the world’s source of all things evil.

    .

  13. ibreathefootball says: Mar 9, 2012 8:20 PM

    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.

  14. ibreathefootball says: Mar 9, 2012 8:26 PM

    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.

  15. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 9, 2012 8:27 PM

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

  16. woohoothing says: Mar 9, 2012 8:28 PM

    In other news………….Tebow is not a virgin…

  17. j0esixpack says: Mar 9, 2012 8:47 PM

    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

  18. dmartin17 says: Mar 9, 2012 10:12 PM

    Wouldn’t delaying the announcement be of benefit for the players so they don’t miss playoff games? Or am I missing something?

  19. CKL says: Mar 10, 2012 12:16 AM

    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.

  20. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 10, 2012 12:27 AM

    I heard they’re calling Aaron Rodgers to be a character witness.

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