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Steelers won’t suspend post-pot arrest, this time

Steelers Getty Images

When it comes to applying and enforcing internal rules, the Steelers (like most sports teams) operate not with bright lines but a golf bag.  And they carefully select a club based on, ultimately, the overriding duty to win as many football games as possible.

That’s why it’s no surprise that the Steelers won’t be suspending running back Le’Veon Bell or LeGarrette Blount for last week’s Cheech and Chong meets Dumb and Dumber marijuana episode.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that the Steelers won’t suspend either player.  He bases his conclusion on the plain language of the labor deal, which prohibits teams from taking matters into their own hands regarding alcohol and drug offenses.

While entirely accurate, that provision didn’t stop coach Mike Tomlin from sitting former Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes with pay in 2008, after a mid-week marijuana citation.  It also didn’t stop the Steelers from suspending former defensive lineman Alameda Ta’amu after a DUI incident.

In this case, a suspension of the two players involved would put the team in a tough spot for the regular-season opener against the Browns.  And so the discipline will be meted out in some other way, the team will defer (for a change) to the league office, and this specific incident of arguable compliance with the CBA will be forgotten the next time a guy who is less important to the cause gets in trouble and the team decides to make an example out of him.

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69 Responses to “Steelers won’t suspend post-pot arrest, this time”
  1. samsonight1010 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:07 PM

    Shocker, can the nfl give them a “random” test right now?

  2. coltsjason says: Aug 27, 2014 5:07 PM

    May have something do with if they suspend them no one be there to run the ball

  3. Steeley McBeam says: Aug 27, 2014 5:10 PM

    Don’t act like your team would either.

  4. Canton Bulldogs says: Aug 27, 2014 5:10 PM

    The court of public opinion is already having fun mocking their intellect. And the Steeler fans calling out every other team for no disipline are suddenly very quiet.

  5. samsonight1010 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:10 PM

    Defer “for a change” like when they let the league do nothing about their rapist quarterback? This organization is no cleaner than the dirty ravens that they claim to despise so much

  6. si1m says: Aug 27, 2014 5:11 PM

    Tomlin and the Steelers have a hard enough time going 8-8 WITH everyone available.

  7. wallabear says: Aug 27, 2014 5:21 PM

    Like I said, you’ve got countless honest, hard-working athletes trying to make team rosters; meanwhile, guys like Gordon, Blount, Bell continue to behave like teens instead of real men. It’s sickening to the stomach.

  8. whodey420 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:23 PM

    Funny that the Steelers HAVE suspended players in the past but WONT this time!! Of course not when it’s 2 players at the same position. How convenient!

    If it were a back up at a less valuable position they’d suspend them or just outright cut them!!

    I guess Hoyer and the Brownies have put the fear of God in em lol!!

  9. ctiggs says: Aug 27, 2014 5:24 PM

    #nobodyhasitbetter

  10. whodey420 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:25 PM

    I’ll add this though. At least they were just smoking some Hippy Lettuce and not knockin’ out and draggin’ their fiance’s through a hotel!! :)

  11. The Colts tanked the 2011 season, but Andrew Luck is a bust, and Jim Irsay is a druggie. The entire Colts organization and their fans should be ashamed. says: Aug 27, 2014 5:26 PM

    It must have been Bill Leavy’s decision.

  12. 2blingluvinit says: Aug 27, 2014 5:27 PM

    Justice needs to be served on these drug addicts. This is why I don’t let my kids watch steeler football.

  13. whiteknightblackheart says: Aug 27, 2014 5:28 PM

    Hard to hide under Rooney’s halo when you run a hypocritical organization now, isn’t it.

  14. philsimmsisadouche says: Aug 27, 2014 5:28 PM

    Given that when they sat Holmes for a game (and paid him for it) it was 2008 and the league was operating under a different CBA, does your comparison of that instance have any relevance?

  15. 34defense2014 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:31 PM

    He should play them the entire game and have them on Special team as well! That would straighten right up!

  16. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 27, 2014 5:32 PM

    The court of public opinion is already having fun mocking their intellect. And the Steeler fans calling out every other team for no disipline are suddenly very quiet.

    Bulldog, what they did was wrong in Pa. It’s a misdemeanor…big deal. They maybe dumb. However they aren’t cowards like your guy Rice and the team didn’t support their actions like the Ravens. They didn’t have their lady at a presser saying it was her fault. So crawl back to the stain called the charm and be quiet.

  17. daysend564 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:33 PM

    Not when it is their top two RBs on the roster it won’t.

  18. jacklambertslovechild says: Aug 27, 2014 5:42 PM

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the Holmes and Ta’amu were incidents occured in-season and we’re “suspensions” with pay. Team discretion in game planning and preparation was advisable in deactivating players in those cases. Color it as you may, but the circumstances are different not only due to the players’ value to the team. In light of this, I do not see the current inaction from thefront office as a contradiction to the team’s previous actions, but I suppose dealing with the facts completely would be less salacious.

  19. gayforbrady says: Aug 27, 2014 5:44 PM

    A once great organization turned into a classless organization.

  20. gadgetking2010 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:45 PM

    i’m sure these two will now be “randomly” tested more than the other players on the team.

    and after their punishment is given out (however severe or lenient), it is sure to include mandatory drug testing.

  21. rickywatts80 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:54 PM

    If the league is so intent on ridding itself of marijuana, why isn’t in the CBA that a player immediately receives a drug test following a drug related arrest. Strike one, and in the program. This is a charade.

    It’s not that they should care about pot, it’s that they pretend like they do to uphold an image.

  22. vdogg says: Aug 27, 2014 6:06 PM

    The RB duo of “Smoke and Toke”!!!

  23. scrapphoria says: Aug 27, 2014 6:06 PM

    Gordon in Cleveland – Cheech and Chong in Pittsburgh – Rice in Baltimore. Clean as a whistle in Cincy….

  24. dethsupport says: Aug 27, 2014 6:13 PM

    The steelers way sure has a lot of variables. I heard their rubes are ridiculous too. Refects Dallas and Green Bay.

  25. sonofsamadams says: Aug 27, 2014 6:13 PM

    Typical Steeler move. Rooney looks down from his high horse and thumbs his nose at everyone else while his team consistently makes him look like a hypocrite.

  26. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 27, 2014 6:22 PM

    Gordon in Cleveland – Cheech and Chong in Pittsburgh – Rice in Baltimore. Clean as a whistle in Cincy….

    That hasnt happened since Cincy last won a playoff game…ya know like before the internet, cellphones and the PC police. Eons folks!

  27. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: Aug 27, 2014 6:28 PM

    After smoking a few blunts, Le’Veon and LeGarrette were pulled over on their way to Taco Bell.

  28. keiselsbeard says: Aug 27, 2014 6:42 PM

    A) That was Santonio’s 1st drug offense, not 1st behavioral offense. B) Ta’Amu almost killed several people, including a police officer. Bell & Blount smokin a joint, doesn’t deserve a suspension.

  29. theageofquarrel says: Aug 27, 2014 6:42 PM

    WOW!!! They smoked weed!!!!
    At least they didn’t beat their wives/girlfriends,stab someone,shoot several people or other such crap.
    THEY SMOKED WEED!!!!!!

  30. bigbluwreckincrew83 says: Aug 27, 2014 6:46 PM

    The headline “arrested for marijuana possession” is starting to seem more and more archaic everyday

  31. kando53 says: Aug 27, 2014 6:46 PM

    I hope the Steelers get reamed wherever they travel to this year. What a joke. This is becoming big business at its worst.

  32. abninf says: Aug 27, 2014 6:50 PM

    It should be no surprise that two guys named “Le’Veon” and “LeGarrette” were driving around stoned with dope in their car.

  33. steelcurtainn says: Aug 27, 2014 6:51 PM

    Good they shouldn’t. Let God-ell and company handle it since they like to hand down 2 game suspensions for beating up women. Bell and Blount better not get more then one game next year after seeing what the women beater got away with.

  34. orivar says: Aug 27, 2014 6:52 PM

    wallabear says: Aug 27, 2014 5:21 PM

    Like I said, you’ve got countless honest, hard-working athletes trying to make team rosters; meanwhile, guys like Gordon, Blount, Bell continue to behave like teens instead of real men. It’s sickening to the stomach.

    ————

    Because they smoke? A lot of players smoke.

  35. patriots123456 says: Aug 27, 2014 7:06 PM

    You expect discipline from a coach who runs out on the field during a live play?

    Good luck with that.

  36. wadaz says: Aug 27, 2014 7:21 PM

    Not the Steeler demeanor of yore. Sad compromise Coach Tomlin.

  37. ironman721 says: Aug 27, 2014 7:22 PM

    Both should sit week one. Anyone else at a regular job would have been fired and yes I am a Steelers fan.

  38. jimmy2times says: Aug 27, 2014 7:24 PM

    Name another team that punished their player during the season before the league did.
    Before the league did.

  39. Canton Bulldogs says: Aug 27, 2014 7:31 PM

    Drug used is spelled out in the CBA and they’ll get theirs. Domestic violence is not, yet. Smoking weed is becoming more acceptable I’ll admit but DUI isn’t. Smoking weed isn’t the worst part of this. Believing you’re sober enough to drive is but too many people are looking past that little bit. And what’s the matter nofool, you’ve been dishing it out, can’t you take it? What’s wrong, you mad bro?

  40. theravens1 says: Aug 27, 2014 7:37 PM

    They didn’t do anything when the QB raped a woman, so why should they do something with pot heads and drunksards?

    Oh, wait – its easier to complain about the Raven’s whose RB has been dealt with rather than man up and do what’s right. Oh, yeah, were talking about the Steelers who can’t be embarrassed by things like these.

    No Rules, for the men whose uniforms looked like jail breakers, anyway.

  41. stampnhawk says: Aug 27, 2014 7:38 PM

    Only reason Aldon Smith got suspended (after playing a game after his incident no-less) was his issue couldn’t be avoided in the public eye. Driving drunk 7 hours after you’ve done drinking, and hitting a tree usually catches the attention of many.

    But the 49’ers didn’t want to suspend him, or, probably lose him to rehab, but were forced to.

    Can only imagine back in the day with less access to information, the beat writers for each team in the back pocket of the teams and not going to release any bad news, and lack of social media which follows athletes around, how much stuff got swept under the table when it came to brushes with the law and trouble.

  42. tebowbrokesteelers says: Aug 27, 2014 8:15 PM

    The steelers have o winning season o playoff appearances and o standards since Tim Tebow beat them like a rented mule in the playoffs years ago

  43. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 27, 2014 8:23 PM

    They didn’t do anything when the QB raped a woman, so why should they do something with pot heads and drunksards?

    Oh, wait – its easier to complain about the Raven’s whose RB has been dealt with rather than man up and do what’s right. Oh, yeah, were talking about the Steelers who can’t be embarrassed by things like these.

    No Rules, for the men whose uniforms looked like jail breakers, anyway.

    QB raped no one unless you have some breaking news to share. But for a team that had Ray(slasher) and Jamal( white powder) Lewis and
    Rice the wife beater you dare talk about rules. Raven nation applauded a wife beater and you want to talk about being embarrassed about weed…..get a grip…more than a vice grip .

  44. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 27, 2014 8:24 PM

    Tomlin trying to save his job here.

  45. wiztopher says: Aug 27, 2014 8:27 PM

    No integrity.

  46. pooflingingmonkey says: Aug 27, 2014 8:35 PM

    This is weak, but for Raven Nation to chime in is ridiculous. The ink is barely dry on Ray Rice’s suspension papers.

  47. cribbage12 says: Aug 27, 2014 9:02 PM

    Die-hard Packers fan, but I’ve always appreciated the Steelers – as they embody many of the same blue-collar work ethic, championship-in-the-DNA and fanatic fan base characteristics as Green Bay. But this taints things a bit – Pittsburgh is a classier organization than this decision is making them look.

  48. kd75 says: Aug 27, 2014 9:07 PM

    A guy named Blunt smokes pot…?

    You don’t say.

  49. bush1069 says: Aug 27, 2014 9:15 PM

    Come on its weed…grow from the great Mother Earth …not like booze which has to be processed by humans…pass the blunt and stop overthinking this

  50. stoogy says: Aug 27, 2014 9:31 PM

    Steeler nation applauded a woman beater in James Harrison fool, so what?

  51. sixburghrules says: Aug 27, 2014 10:20 PM

    None of the fans of any 32 teams have got any right to talk junk because you know that your players are doing it as well. They may not have gotten caught (yet) but you know they are doing it. At least some of them

  52. sixburghrules says: Aug 27, 2014 10:21 PM

    I should make that clear. At least some of them on all 32 teams

  53. troy43mvp says: Aug 27, 2014 10:30 PM

    The Rooney family didn’t smoke the joints. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I am a Steeler fan and have no problem what so ever if they suspended them both for the first game. Remember its only Cleveland that they are playing. Its the closest thing to a bye that we have going in the league. Oh and it is a different CBA than 2008 so it probably has to play out in court before punishment can be handed down. If they were going to lose a game check for sitting out that would be different.

  54. rcali says: Aug 27, 2014 10:35 PM

    Steelers are not what they used to be. They don’t have room to make it any worse.

  55. tigershark0052 says: Aug 27, 2014 10:42 PM

    LOL Steelers suck

  56. getyourownname says: Aug 27, 2014 11:25 PM

    Does anyone think certain Steeler trolls will now stop talking as though their organization is superior to everyone else?

  57. tokyosandblaster says: Aug 27, 2014 11:52 PM

    Yikes. I guess I speak for all Packers fans when I say “Thank GOD we didn’t draft Bell.”

    Bell isn’t nearly as talented as Lacy. Also, off the field distractions are going to shorten bell’s career.

  58. zerochampionshipsmustsuck says: Aug 27, 2014 11:56 PM

    Harold and Kumar go to Pittsburgh

  59. dickjagger says: Aug 28, 2014 12:21 AM

    Hey, fool and tool! You guys had James Harrison who beat his wife and threatened to kill her back in 2008 so what are you talking about?

    Actually every franchise in the league (save the Texans) has most likely had a combo of wife beaters, rapist and much more considering most of this stuff was seldom reported, scrutinized or sensationalized in the old days (aka pre social media days). Just the same, many of you shouldn’t be yapping from your high horse’s.

  60. laxer37 says: Aug 28, 2014 2:11 AM

    The suggestion that the Steelers look the other way when a starter is involved is misguided. They suspended and eventually traded starter Santonio Holmes after being named Super Bowl MVP.

    The difference for Bell and Blount is they are first time offenders charged only with a misdemeanor.

  61. RegisHawk says: Aug 28, 2014 6:21 AM

    Quel surprise…

  62. williamshatnerstoupee says: Aug 28, 2014 8:45 AM

    I dearly love the Steeler trolls. If this were the Rams or Jags, this thread would have three comments.

  63. colv says: Aug 28, 2014 9:02 AM

    I won’t say its a classless organization like some have here. They are in that same rabbit hole that bite the Ravens, mostly fights and one classless fight, that all teams will go thru. The NFL is a snapshot of society like the military. The class of the NFL is still Pittsburg, NE, NYG, GB, Baltimore and now Cinncy, they learned the Pittsburg and NE way recent years as the Ravens did when established in Baltimore.

  64. motoqrss says: Aug 28, 2014 1:13 PM

    Drug addicts?? For smoking pot? Really?

  65. tk1966 says: Aug 28, 2014 2:47 PM

    A little knowledge for you who are quick to fault the Steelers – the current CBA prevents a team from suspending players for Steroid or other drug use. The punishment for such violation is handled by the league office.

    Article 42, Section 6 “Club Discipline,”

    NFL Drug and Steroid Policies: No Club may impose any discipline against a player, including but not limited to terminating the player’s Player Contract, as a result of that Player’s violation of the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Sub- stances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or for failing any drug test, provided, however, that the fact that a player has violated the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or has failed a drug test will not preclude the termination of his Player Contract if such termination is otherwise expressly permissible under this Agreement or the player’s Player Contract.

  66. tinytoolalldrool says: Aug 29, 2014 7:33 AM

    Harold and Kumar have to much class to go to Pittsburgh.

  67. tk1966 says: Aug 29, 2014 2:35 PM

    Don’t understand why my comment is getting thumbs down’s from people. A fact is a fact. Perhaps the thumb downs are from those who are blind to facts and only believe what they want to believe.

  68. fortwaynesteelrz86 says: Aug 29, 2014 4:49 PM

    I am beginning to think Coach Tomlin is the one who needs to go and not the Offensive Coordinator…..all due respect, Snoop. Being a “players’ coach” may not be what this team needs. This team has lacked discipline for some time and it shows through gap soundness, missed tackles, and things like your two featured backs being bused on pot charges. I am hoping for a 7th ring this year but the longer this Coach is in charge, the worse things seem to be getting….I hope my perception is inaccurate and i can look back and laugh at this post in February. Go Stillers!!!

  69. olcap says: Aug 31, 2014 2:23 PM

    rickywatts80 says: Aug 27, 2014 5:54 PM

    If the league is so intent on ridding itself of marijuana, why isn’t in the CBA that a player immediately receives a drug test following a drug related arrest. Strike one, and in the program. This is a charade.

    It’s not that they should care about pot, it’s that they pretend like they do to uphold an image.
    —————

    Agreed.

    They should also conduct a drug test on a player immediately after being photographed in a club restroom with a rolled up bill

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