WILLIAMS WALL STILL WAITING FOR APPEAL HEARINGS

With only seven (and, in a couple of days, six) games remaining in the 2008 NFL season, no appeal hearing has been set regarding the potential four-game suspensions of Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, who reportedly tested positive for Bumetanide, a potent diuretic that also can be used to mask steroids.
Given the likely complexity of the issue and the arguments that the various players caught up in this controversy will be making (including the obvious fact that the “StarCaps” product that most if not all of them were taking had been spiked with the banned substance, which is supposed to be available only with a prescription), and in light of the fact that it’s often hard to get the calendars of all of the folks who’ll be attending the hearing lined up, we’re starting to wonder whether this matter will be deferred until the offseason.
Even if the NFL is intent on resolving this matter with four or more regular-season games remaining, it’s something that as a practical matter likely can’t get accomplished between now and the week after Thanksgiving.  Regardless of whether the hearing can be held before December 7, the hearing officer will need to have time to digest the information presented and prepare an appropriate decision.
From the standpoint of the teams involved, that would be a huge benefit.  Especially for the Vikings, who would be stripped of the heart of their potent defense in the stretch run for a division title.  If the suspensions ultimately are upheld, the Vikings would be able to spend the offseason and training camp preparing to make it through the first four games of the year without either of the Williamses.
Of course, teams like the Packers and the Bears might not be too thrilled about justice deferred.  And that’s another reason why the league and the union need to come up with better ways to keep this information completely confidential.  Because if it never had been reported, no one would know anything about it unless and until the appeals are rejected and the suspensions are finalized.

27 responses to “WILLIAMS WALL STILL WAITING FOR APPEAL HEARINGS

  1. Hey Florio – How come no article about Kaczur? Is it because he is on the pats that he gets a free ride?

  2. I’ve never truly understood how/when the league decides on these issues. It doesn’t seem consistent.

  3. Maybe they’ll get busted this weekend for taking off their helmets and Florio can dedicate every post in the ensuing week to the topic.

  4. Wait, as to Kazur, I thought Florio hated the Pats supposedly because of beating the Spygate thing to death? I’m so confused! Is it possible he just hates all the teams, and really is a soccer fan????

  5. purpleguy–
    What’s this about “taking off their helmets”? It sounds like a very serious matter that deserves at least some attention from a site like PFT?

  6. Am I missing something here???
    How can you hold an individual (the Williams et al)
    responsible for taking a pill that the manufacturer
    had mixed in an illegal substance?? The substance
    was not on the label….. Does the NFL require that
    the players have every over the counter item
    lab tested??

  7. The more I visit this site, the more I become convinced that Florio
    hates the Vikings. I be willing to bet that even the Green Bay papers don’t spend this much time dissing the Vikes.
    They took a masking agent, which is also used as a weight loss agent. The comissioner will decide, and probably (rightly) suspend them for 4 games. The players named need to take some responsibility with this issue.
    I am certain that the facts that have been made public, as they relate to this issue, won’t have much, if any affect on Goodell’s decision (the manufacturer not including all the products ingrediants on the lable, the “HOT LINE” issue, with players not being able to get through). Why, because Goodell thinks he needs to play sherrif, and hasn’t shown any tendancy to leinency. I wouldn’t expect these players to be treated differently.

  8. Don Corleone – Normally I would say that is not true. However, there is some very strong evidence that is true. That is really sad too.

  9. All you bastards that blasted these guys when the news broke should apologize. It is quite apparent that these guys were taking Star Caps to keep their weight down and that the product was spiked without their knowledge. This matter should be deferred to the offseason and all players that were implicated should be let off.

  10. What an article on the Vikings and no mention of Peterson removing his helmet???? I’m sure to Florio this is just another case of the league favoring the vikings again, and another reason why the Vikings beat the Pack.

  11. Yet another joke
    Goodell is a fraud and either make a move now or carry on. The league made such a big deal about substance use and abuse and these guys got flagged yet nothing has been done. That makes a lot of sense, but if a guy doesn’t wear his uni correctly or makes comments about the officiating you know damn well that gets put on the front burner.
    NFL = XFL when it comes to integrity and consistency

  12. sundance – the players are supposed to call a special number and find out if what they want to take is on the approved or is it banned list. Not sure from what little information has been posted on it. However, it has also been reported that the special number was not being answered. So, when in doubt don’t do it. This whole thing has been a mess since it was first reported. That is why no one has been suspended so far.

  13. The Confidentiality aspect is the most disturbing thing about the league’s supposed high standards.

  14. Someone beat me to the punch on this, but the Packers can’t complain about two Vikings DTs not getting suspended for taking a legal weight loss drug with an unlabeled ingredient mixed in when Johnny Jolly was busted with 202 grams of an illegal narcotic and hasn’t been suspended.
    Not to mention that Nick Barnett was suspended for the season opener against the Vikings for assault, but was given permission to play (just not get paid) by the NFL.

  15. He hasn’t been suspended because he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, bgman. He’ll get his suspension for the start of next year after his trial.

  16. >>bgman says:
    November 14th, 2008 at 11:58 am
    Someone beat me to the punch on this, but the Packers can’t complain about two Vikings DTs not getting suspended for taking a legal weight loss drug with an unlabeled ingredient mixed in when Johnny Jolly was busted with 202 grams of an illegal narcotic and hasn’t been suspended.
    Not to mention that Nick Barnett was suspended for the season opener against the Vikings for assault, but was given permission to play (just not get paid) by the NFL.<<
    Well, there’s a difference. Jolly hasn’t plead guilty and the case hasn’t been heard yet. The league has no action they can take because technically he hasn’t yet been proven guilty of anything. Until the facts behind the case come out, the league can’t really do anything. He doesn’t have a history of being a turd and getting arrested every other week like some players, so the league has to give him the benefit of the doubt until the case goes to trial.
    Nick Barnett was originally suspended and fined but appealed the suspension. The league then looked further into the case, found out it was a crap assault charge and opted to fine him rather than suspend him, so he still got punished.
    The situation here is you have a handful of guys who tested positive for a banned substance that was found to be in a product that isn’t on the leagues approved list of supplements. At the moment the players are being given the benefit of the doubt because at question is whether the substance was placed into the supplement with the players knowledge or not.
    However, there is a dangerous precedent that could be set here- If the league takes no action, then everyone who tests positive in the future will be able to point back at this case and blame their testing on product manufacturers. However, if the league does take action, then it’s possible some innocent players will be punished for something they legitimately didn’t do.
    The league has a no tolerance policy on banned substances, and players have to know the risks of taking supplements that are not approved by the league. Players have to be held ultimately accountable for what they put in their bodies, and as such, some punishment should levied.
    And don’t worry about Johnny Jolly. He’ll get his if it’s appropriate.

  17. In response to SpartaChris.
    Your whole point is moot. It doesn’t matter if they have had their trial or if they have pled guilty. The league can choose to suspsend at any team regardless of trial. Idiot.
    One can look no further than Vikings LT Bryant Mckinnie who was suspended for the 1st four games this year. He hasn’t even had his trial yet nor did he plead guilty, so I ask you this moron. If Mckinnie doesn’t have to have his trial to be suspended then why should Coke Head John Jolly?
    Mckinnie was suspsend for a fight that he did some stuff that should get him suspended but in my opinion drug trafficking (Kazcur) or being a coke head (Matt Jones, John Jolly) or beating women (James Harrison, Nick Barnett) is alot worse than some guys fighting each other in the street regardless if the fight esculates to a criminal act.
    Your an idiot and know not what you speak.

  18. “He hasn’t been suspended because he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, bgman. He’ll get his suspension for the start of next year after his trial. ”
    The NFL has acted with suspensions prior to court action
    on several occasions. McKinnie is an excellent example.
    And Star Caps were not a banned substance at the time
    the Williams took them from what I have heard. The
    unlabeled, illegally manufactured diuretic was. And the
    Williams would have had no idea it was in there.
    Get consistant Gooddull!!!!!!!

  19. i love how a week ago you were all berating joey porter for calling out the inconsistencies of the nfl in handing out suspensions and fines, yet suddenly now it’s okay to do it? nice job

  20. I don’t think the league should suspend anyone in this case. Clearly none of the players taking Starcaps were intentionally taking the Bumentide. (sp) The drug wasn’t labled as a content on the product, which is illegal, and (if memory serves me correctly) none of the 20-some players on the list of those who took Starcaps have ever been implicated in anything like this before.
    Clearly, it’s a case of a bunch of players who got jobbed by a company that was doing something unethical. Suspending all of these players will have MASSIVE playoff implecations for most of their teams, and it’s pretty clear that none of these guys intentionally did anything wrong. So, shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime? If so, no suspensions should be handed out.

  21. >>vikelord says:
    November 14th, 2008 at 12:53 pm
    In response to SpartaChris.
    Your whole point is moot. It doesn’t matter if they have had their trial or if they have pled guilty. The league can choose to suspsend at any team regardless of trial. Idiot.
    One can look no further than Vikings LT Bryant Mckinnie who was suspended for the 1st four games this year. He hasn’t even had his trial yet nor did he plead guilty, so I ask you this moron. If Mckinnie doesn’t have to have his trial to be suspended then why should Coke Head John Jolly?
    Mckinnie was suspsend for a fight that he did some stuff that should get him suspended but in my opinion drug trafficking (Kazcur) or being a coke head (Matt Jones, John Jolly) or beating women (James Harrison, Nick Barnett) is alot worse than some guys fighting each other in the street regardless if the fight esculates to a criminal act.
    Your an idiot and know not what you speak.<<
    Wow you sure sound intelligent with juvenile name calling and what not. You sure put me in my place! Here, I’ll type this slow so you can understand it all.
    For starters, that wasn’t the first time McKinnie has been in trouble. He was part of the infamous “Love Boat” scandal. You know, where the Vikings became the only team in NFL history to lose a bye week? Yeah, that one. He wound up pleading guilty to disorderly conduct. Fine, no biggie it’s in the past, but that’s one strike against.
    Fast forward to the fight in the nightclub, where he was arrested on aggravated battery, disorderly conduct (Gee, hasn’t disorderly conduct happened once before somewhere? Hmmm…) and resisting arrest. What’s funny about that is McKinnie got thrown out, left and then came back wit the purpose of looking for a fight. Witnesses, including the police saw him beating on the guy. It’s pretty much an open and shut case.
    On the other hand, the Jolly case is far less clear. According to news stories citing the actual police report, “Cups of liquid codeine were found in a car Jolly and several friends were in and a bag of marijuana was found on a 22-year-old man. A 21-year-old was also arrested for misdemeanor unlawful carrying of a weapon.” Put another way, because Jolly happened to be in a car found to be full of liquid codeine, he’s being investigated for drug trafficking. There’s no evidence that it was his and no other narcotics were found on his person.
    In summary, your guy got caught beating the crap out of someone after being given the chance to walk away. He also resisted arrest and has a history of disorderly conduct.
    My guy might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The keyword there is “might.”
    I’m not saying Jolly is innocent and shouldn’t be punished because he absolutely should be. However, until his trial comes up, it’s impossible to determine exactly what his role was in that situation, which wasn’t the case with McKinnie. Because the league isn’t going to punish someone for the same crime twice, their best course of action in this case is to wait and see what happens before taking action.
    Hopefully I typed that slow enough for you to understand the difference.

  22. SpartaChris:
    http://blog.nola.com/saintsbeat/2008/10/new_orleans_saints_trio_to_pla.html
    “McAllister said he had been taking the StarCaps pills for at least four years, and that he had sent them in for testing when he began taking them.”
    Now, Deuce McAllister isn’t stupid. I’m guessing that if the league had said that these things were illegal that he wouldn’t have been taking them for the past four years. Besides, if he’s been taking these things for four years, would this be his FIRST positive drug test? I doubt it.
    So, it stands to reason that the league, at some point, said StarCaps were okay. And I’m guessing that anybody that would have called the league’s supplement hotline would have been told that they were okay as well (if anyone would have actually, you know, answered the phone or anything). The makers of StarCaps obviously changed their formula without telling anybody and didn’t bother to put this new ingredient on the label, largely because it’s only supposed to be available by prescription. The capsules that McAllister sent in four years ago obviously didn’t test positive for anything (or, again, he almost certainly wouldn’t have continued using them), but the ones that Jamar Nesbit sent to the league labs did. So the formula was, indeed, changed at some point.
    That’s where the problem lies for the NFL. It seems clear that the league did approve the use of these StarCaps at one time, and they’re now stuck trying to suspend players for taking something that they said was okay after the formula had been changed without their knowledge.
    If it was as open-and-shut as a lot of people seem to think it is, these guys would have been suspended already. But it’s not.
    Maybe the league should look into the idiot that placed the value of breaking a story over the rights of these individual players. None of us should know what StarCaps or Bumetanide is right now, because we shouldn’t know that any of these players tested positive for anything at this point in time. Whoever leaked this story should immediately have their NFL stadium privileges revoked by the league for their violation.

  23. @TheGonz-
    I agree, it’s a tough situation. I agree that it isn’t a simple open and shut case.
    On one hand you have a pill that was ok 4 years ago. On the other you have a group of players who all tested positive for a banned masking agent. The one thing they all had in relation was StarCaps.
    But there are other things that make this situation more complicated than bad supplements. For starters, the league has long maintained the position that players are responsible for what they put into their bodies, no exceptions. The “I didn’t know it was tainted” card isn’t accepted by the league because it opens the Pandora’s box of every player who tests positive for banned substances being allowed to get away with it by blaming the manufacturer.
    Then you have the pills last being tested four years ago. OK, so the league approved their use at one time, that doesn’t make them ok to take now. Since the pills never made it to the leagues “approved” list of supplements, hindsight tells us that the smarter move would have been to have the pills tested every year.
    You also have to look at the fact that the league publishes a list of approved substances that are ok to take. Taking anything outside of that list is risky business, as we’ve all found.
    So we’re left with a situation where the players are “Guilty, but not responsible.” And because of that, something has to happen. The players have to be held responsible for what they put into their own bodies, but since the probability of their supplements being tainted is pretty high, perhaps trimming the sentence would be appropriate.
    I agree that the information never should have been let out and whoever did it should be immediately terminated.

  24. Spartachris. So your telling me because someone has been in trouble before (and in Mckinnies case, in trouble for something that should never have been a big deal. They weren’t the 1st millionaire athletes to hire call girls) that they should never be give the benefit of the doubt and should automatically be thought of as guilty even before their trial.
    But, in Jolly’s case since you dont know of him being in trouble before he should be exempt for punishment until the information clears. Whats to say the story in the newspaper about Mckinnie was wrong and that the club owner who kicked him out hassled him out side even after he went across to the other bar. Who’s to say that club owner didn’t instigate that fight? You dont know, I dont know. But the difference is I’m a real person and not some kind of elitest that thinks someones past indescretions should always hurt them. If McKinnie ends up being guilty and is legally in trouble then fine. But someones past , unless extremely bad, shouldn’t make them get treated worse by an employer.
    Again my point, my should Mckinnie have no right to fair trial before suspension and Jolly get the benefit. Who are you to judge that. Who is Roger Goddell to judge it.. I mean if all the details of Mckinnies case aren’t out how can you determine he certainly did something wrong. Maybe the fight was instigated by a bunch of the club owners friends trying to mess with a local celebrity (Hurrican Football).

  25. >>vikelord says:
    November 14th, 2008 at 3:56 pm
    blah blah blah blah blah…<<
    Dude, I’m not going to try and keep explaining the differences to you because you’re obviously not smart enough to understand the differences between these two situations.
    But yes, personal history plays a BIG part as to whether a player gets the benefit of the doubt or not. If Ricky Williams were to get caught with weed and claimed it wasn’t his, do you think anyone would seriously buy it? Nope. You wouldn’t, I wouldn’t and anyone with half a brain wouldn’t.
    Your guy has a history of disorderly conduct. It’s happened on two occasions now, so any time in the future when someone makes the claim of him acting disorderly, it will absolutely be believed.
    And before you start thinking that I believe Jolly should just walk, I absolutely do not believe he should. He should be held responsible for his associations as they are a direct reflection of himself and his team. But the circumstances are different. Your guy was caught in the act. People saw your guy commit the crime. No one saw my guy do anything. His role in the matter is unknown, so for all intents and purposes, he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. (For the record, I don’t believe that to be true. I think he knew exactly what they were up to.)
    Anyway, that’s the difference and why the league punished McKinnie now but are forced to wait on Jolly. McKinnie was punished now for something he did whereas Jolly wasn’t because it’s not known what he did. He’ll get his though, you can certainly count on that.

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