The post-NFL deterioration of former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has been startling at times, made most alarming by slurred and at times incoherent speech. A new book contends that Kosar’s problems trace to the Browns giving him a potent pain-killing medication in order to keep playing.
Via Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Blood Sport — Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroids Era traces Kosar’s problems to the use of oxycodone while playing pro football. Kosar presumably developed an addiction to the drug while playing and continued taking it, causing slurred speech.
According to the book, Kosar eventually relied on the Biogenesis “anti-aging” clinic for medications that may have included steroids, testosterone, and HGH. The book contends that Kosar received at least one $600 shipment of medication from Biogenesis, and that former Kosar college teammate Julio Cortes explained, “We can either do this or get back on the oxy. You read the papers about Kosar, and he’s a mess. He’s slurring his words from the medication, from the oxy that the Browns gave him.”
The disclosure comes at a time when the DEA reportedly is investigating the distribution of prescription medication to NFL players. Which, given the assumption by many that team doctors have been handing out strong narcotics and other medications for years without dotting all i’s and crossing all t’s, invites speculation as to why investigations, prosecutions, and/or incarcerations haven’t already happened.
It’s a strange disconnect between the long-suspected reality of prescription drug abuse in NFL locker rooms and the apparent absence of a response from law enforcement. While that may be changing in the wake of the lawsuit filed by former players against the NFL for providing medications without explaining the side effects, if the allegations made by the players are true, prosecutors could have been shooting quacks in a barrel for the last several decades.