Nervous Over Raji Result

Our report from earlier in the day regarding the clean urine sample that Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji produced at the Scouting Combine has prompted sweaty brows and shaky palms at Sports Illustrated.
The magazine’s web site,, reported that Raji had tested positive for marijuana at the Combine.  In a bizarre move, removed the story but didn’t retract it.  Presumably, opted to take a wait-and-see approach, pending the release to the 32 franchises of the names of the players who tested positive.
The news that Raji sample was clean prompted, as we understand it, a flurry of activity by folks at, who were hoping to learn that our report regarding Raji’s negative result was as wrong as’s report regarding Raji’s positive result has turned out to be.
This isn’t intended to be a slam of  As Terry Bradshaw’s empty casket would say (if, you know, empty caskets could talk), everyone gets one wrong from time to time.  The test of character, in our view, arises in the aftermath of the realization that an error was made.
And the best approach is to openly acknowledge the mistake, accept responsibility for it, and then take meaningful steps aimed at preventing a similar incident from occurring in the future.

30 responses to “ Nervous Over Raji Result

  1. This is terrible. IMO its driven by the so called real media trying to trump so called blogs by breaking this type of story without the facts being correctly vetted. If I were Raji I would go to Jim Schwartz and say “I have this lawsiut coming up versus SI, just say you were going to draft me first until you read the story and we will split the damages.” Because Schwartz runs the Lions picking Raji first would be plausible and every party wins.
    I emailed Peter King about his thoughts on this, let’s see if he address it in his Tuesday Morning QB column where he addresses letters. Somehow I doubt it.

  2. And the best approach is to openly acknowledge the mistake, accept responsibility for it, and then take meaningful steps aimed at preventing a similar incident from occurring in the future….
    and constantly taking jabs at yourself about it to keep it fresh in the readers’ minds. No wait, the “real” media doesn’t have such moxy

  3. A lawyer for Raji had this to say in reaction to today’s news that his client had not been tested positive as had been reported by Sports Illustrated:

  4. It’s going to get very awkward around here when Terry Bradshaw really dies. Florio, you should start thinking how you are going to handle that today, and pray he lives for a long, long time.

  5. I can’t stand anyone that will not own up to their own mistakes! You are immature and ignorant if you don’t.

  6. I’m confused on the motive for the S.I. article. Was it just to break a big story? Obviously the information was false so…
    Regardless they should at least apologize for printing false information and to Raji.
    Does this change his draft prjection?

  7. SI is a joke & this just shows how shotty journalism is these days. Lets post an article that we can’t verify just so we can take credit for breaking the story if it just happens to be true. What a bunch of jerk offs SI is for that shit. Whoever posted that story should be fired ASAP.

  8. The report all depends on what Peter King says as he was the main one to back up the writer……….

  9. Problem is that there is a very real possibility that Raji could pursue litigation over this situation. As such, SI’s legal department is probably winning over PR on this one.
    Put on your lawyer pants, Florio. Would you advise SI to air a very public apology that could be used against them in court, or tell them to shut the hell up?

  10. Florio, You are a complete hypocrite for saying this, “And the best approach is to openly acknowledge the mistake, accept responsibility for it, and then take meaningful steps aimed at preventing a similar incident from occurring in the future.”
    As a journalist it’s easier for you to just keep the lie going.
    Remember when you stated Tom Cable had called out Jamarcus Russell for not being at camp?
    Instead of admitting you were wrong like your advice to SI, you instead continued to the bash on Russell without ever admitting that you were wrong about that whole situation.
    Do you remember why Russell wasn’t at camp and why he was excused from camp? Russell had been at the facilities nearly after the season ended. He had been excused from camp because of his mother’s surgery.
    As you have shown as well as these journalists at SI, instead of admitting guilt you just kept the bash going.

  11. Except your mistake didn’t cause any real harm to Bradshaw. SI’s mistake at best caused people to think this guy was a pot smoker, and at worst could cause some teams to shy away even though he didn’t test positive, potentially costing him a large chunk of change.

  12. Just who at SI ( editor?) is approving this twisting rumors into facts? IS SI so desperate for a ‘scoop’ that it would recklessly damage the reputation (and earnings) of a college kid?

  13. Yeah well Terry Bradshaw’s earning potential didn’t take a nose dive cause PFT Planet thought he was dead…

  14. Report: Mike Florio dead?
    Tony Pauline of has made an unconfirmed report that writer Mike Florio died in a car accident on Thursday. We don’t know whether this is true, but if it is, the world will be a far less sarcastic place (and that’s a bad thing).
    Unrelated Report: Tony Pauline tests positive for marijuana.
    UPDATE: Sources are saying that, in light of his positive test result, Pauline’s recent reports may not be completely accurate.
    SECOND UPDATE: Florio has made numerous posts on his site since Thursday, so either someone has a very sick sense of humor, or Mike is fine.

  15. I suspect that SI knowingly gambled in publishing this story.
    If they got it right, they look brilliant.
    If they got it wrong, don’t you need damages to win a defamation lawsuit? What are Raji’s damages given that the false report won’t affect his draft stock?

  16. There is only one thing that would show remorse…….Giving him a few million for the money they may have cost him in endorsements and draft spot. I mean as an attorney florio you understand that you can’t unring the bell.

  17. Ah, the Terry Bradshaw incident. A little self-deprecation goes along way, Mike.
    As far this story goes it’s just the way it is in the post-journalistic, internet age. It’s all about click count now.
    The big boys, like, are tired of getting their heads handed to them by Appalachian lawyers in the mountains of WVirginia who started some blog that has led to a massive following. It’s your fault, Florio. : )

  18. SI should hope to God that Raji is a top-5 pick in the draft, because if he falls and can get any team executives to say in court they were concerned about the report, that could be a libel case that would likely cost them at least $50 million.
    Granted, NFL teams shouldn’t let media reports shape their drafts when they have better info available, but the criteria for libel are being able to show malice or gross negligence, that you were identified, and damage. Under the legal definition, they could be cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

  19. Corrected for accuracy:
    The news that Raji sample was clean prompted, as we understand it, a flurry of activity by folks at, who were hoping to learn that our report regarding Raji’s negative result was as wrong as our report regarding Clay Matthews’ and Brian Cushing’s positive result has turned out to be.

  20. I disagree with most people here. While SI would (will) likely take a PR hit, the legal case against them would have almost no chance. In order to win the case, the Raji people would have to prove that:
    1. The report “did harm” to their client. Being as ALL of the NFL teams get the FULL drug test report directly from the NFL before the draft happens, there is…zilch…chance that any NFL team would make a decision on Raji based upon an unconfirmed report from an unnamed source published in the mass media. Zero chance. The very idea is ludicrous. So the idea that Raji was harmed financially is patently false.
    2. On the idea that Raji’s “reputation” was harmed, there is some sliver of opening. But the fact that Raji *did* in fact have a positive drug test for pot during his college days greatly puts a damper on even this approach. If you had someone who was absolutely 100% squeaky clean and suddenly a (false) report of a drug test pops up, they have some grounds for a pretty significant defamation of character lawsuit. When you have a guy who is a known, confirmed pot smoker trying to claim his character was harmed by a media report that he tested positive for pot…um…yeah, okay buddy.
    My guess is that the Raji camp will file a lawsuit (because this is America, and that’s what we love to do…sue the pants off each other every chance we get), and the Raji lawyers and SI lawyers will sit down in a smoke-filled room (haha) and work out an out-of-court deal. Deep down, both teams of lawyers know that the Raji folks have a very slim chance of winning the lawsuit. But the Raji people know that the last thing the SI people want is a long, protracted court case. So basically, SI will pay some “hush money” to Raji to make the whole thing go away.
    That’s my prediction,.

  21. I really don’t see how, especially considering teams get a list of the players who tested positive, this could negatively impact Raji. Is it reckless and irresponsible to post a story that later turns out to be completely untrue? Well yeah, of course it is….but does anyone seriously expect the media to be 100% accurate? Come on. Shit happens.

  22. Mike what is the starting offer on something like this.
    The case seems pretty solid. If I was the lawyer I would bring in every team that didn’t invite him for a visit and the first question I would ask is; Why didn’t you bring my client in for a visit? All other teams that did bring him in for a visit, I would ask; Why did you ask my client about this report? Because you know they did.
    This is a great story Mike, keep it doing.

  23. A correction has been posted at, with a timestamp of 11:49 Tuesday. I’m just noticing it now.
    It says:
    “Correction: BC’s Raji not on NFL’s drug list”
    “An report posted earlier this month incorrectly stated that Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji’s name would appear on the NFL’s list of players who tested positive for drugs at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. We regret the error.”

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