AP looking into Cushing's 2009 Rookie of the Year award

The news that Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in September has the Associated Press reconsidering the Defensive Rookie of the Year award that Cushing received after the season.

Asked via e-mail whether Cushing’s positive test could change his status as the Associated Press Rookie of the Year, the AP‘s Barry Wilner said, “We are looking into it.” But Wilner added that any decision would involve talking it over with several people, and there’s no timetable for making a decision on the matter.

As I see it, there are four possibilities:

1. The AP could allow Cushing to keep the award.

2. The AP could strip Cushing of the award and announce that no one will be named 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

3. The AP could strip Cushing of the award and announce that Bills safety Jairus Byrd, who came in second, is the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

4. The AP could have its panel of 50 media members vote again for 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

There seems to be growing momentum for Byrd to receive the award. The Bills’ official web site has a post up today noting that Peter King of Sports Illustrated has supported giving the award to Byrd, and Byrd’s teammate Donte Whitner is already on the record as saying Cushing should be stripped of the award.

On the other hand, a re-vote might be a fairer way of handling it. Cushing got 39 of 50 votes, while Byrd finished second with six votes, Clay Matthews had three votes and Brian Orakpo got two votes. We don’t know how the 39 voters who picked Cushing would have voted if they had known Cushing had failed a drug test, but it’s entirely possible that most of them would have voted for Matthews, Orakpo or someone else, rather than Byrd.

It’s also possible that the majority of the voters would have picked Cushing even if they had known he had failed a drug test. If the AP has a re-vote, it’s not clear whether they’d allow Cushing to remain on the ballot.

Ultimately, there is no easy solution. The NFL waited until after the season to decide on Cushing’s appeal, and now the AP is going to wait a little longer before deciding what to do about a Rookie of the Year award that some of its voters no longer believe he deserves.

45 responses to “AP looking into Cushing's 2009 Rookie of the Year award

  1. Rey Maualuga should have been a finalist for the award as well. He had a solid rookie year before getting hurt in week 16.

  2. second place Byrd should get it, why waste too much time in voting again, cushing should just be stripped and let him look like a bitch

  3. No wonder he never sued NFLDraftBible. Looks like their report was right about him cheating just wrong about where he did it. We all knew he was juicing. They need to strip him of the award and re-vote with his name no longer on the list. Any player who is known to be cheating should have any awards they win taken away.

  4. Set an example, strip the roid infested monger of the title. We don’t want to become baseball, folks.

  5. Cushing should be stripped because it will set an example that the NFL wants CLEAN athletes! Having used the drugs gave him an advantage, so now make it his disadvantage! 8^)

  6. I say we also go back and strip every win the Texans had with Cushing on the field and give their opponent the victory…
    then we reseed and replay the playoffs.
    the new Super Bowl can be played at the end of July in New Jersey…no cold weather Super Bowl required.
    …then of course we would have to re-order the draft and do that whole thing over again too. perhaps Jeff Ireland would like a do-over on the Dez Bryant interview too.
    nah…on second thought let’s not mess with what’s already happened and just move forward.

  7. I think Byrd deserves it as 2nd place finisher however I don’t think it would be unfair to have them re-vote with cushing ineligible and that the re-vote is done sooner vs. later. This mistake needs to be addressed now. Cushing never would have been eligible had this positive test been known.

  8. TheBengal13 says:
    May 10, 2010 1:25 PM
    Rey Maualuga should have been a finalist for the award as well. He had a solid rookie year before getting hurt in week 16
    wow, i’m pretty sure the guy that said it should be ziggy hood was kidding, but i think you’re serous about maualuga. way to be objective there.

  9. Michael David Smith…Lee Harvey Oswald…Mark David Chapman…James Earl Ray…Michael David Smith…I’m just sayin’…

  10. If Cushing was operating under a cloud of suspiscion since September, there is virtually no chance he was cheating IN ANY FASHION.
    Of the 5 or so names brought up as alternatives for the award, chances are that at least 3 of them WERE CHEATING. Better to leave it on Cushing. More fair, at least.

  11. They should vote again. The 39 votes that went to Cushing will be redistributed to the players that are valid options.
    If I had to bet, the winner will be the rookie who had 12 sacks; not the corner who had picks due to being targeted because he was a rookie….BRIAN ORAKPO!!!

  12. Strip Merriman too.. he roided up his rookie year and was suspended at the beginning of his 2nd year as well.. Tatupu should’ve be given the award

  13. I might be wrong on this, but he tested positive in Sepetember, and NOW everyone wants to penalize him?
    How far back can we go with this goofy notion?
    I doubt former award winners want to see this gain any traction.

  14. Strip Merriman while you are at it.. he roided up his rookie year in 05 and was suspended at the beginning of 06…
    Tatupu should given the award..

  15. Maualuga should win it? Maybe after his guest appearance on Dateline’s To Catch a Predator

  16. I wouldn’t have any problem with them giving it to Byrd, he’s as deserving as anybody, but I’d have to think that the 39 guys who voted for Cushing may have been a little more likely to give it to either Orakpo or Matthews junior if they voted for a linebacker in the first place. How much does that award pay, and I wonder if these guys had incentive deals in their contracts about winning it.

  17. I’mRonBurgandy…? says:
    May 10, 2010 1:36 PM
    You thought wrong because his nickname is really, A.D.
    Stupidest nickname ever…all he does is fumble all day.

  18. Changing history is stupid. Just put an asterisks by his name and be done with it.

  19. First off, I would say AT LEAST 70% of the league is on something. Secondly, are they going to strip Merriman and Peppers of their awards as well? If this happens, I see Cushing suing the AP and/or the NFL.

  20. HELL NO, he keeps it. I would agree for him to have to give it back but because of past NFL practices he has to keep it. If he gives it back then the Patriots have to give up some super bowl rings.

  21. Jarius Byrd was tied for the lead in INTs last season with 9. And Byrd only played in 14 games and only started 11 of those games.
    Orakpo had a very impressive season with 11 sacks, but 8 other players had 11 or better sacks.
    If a rookie leads (or ties for the lead) in any league wide “good” stat, he deserves to be ROY.
    I say re-vote, but leave Cushings name on the list. If they still vote him ROY, then ok, but they should have all the info before voting.

  22. That’s B.S. If there gonna take it away then they need to take Merriman’s away and give it to Lofa! That’s where it should have been in the first place!

  23. It would be a little unfair to just strip Cushing of the award after Merriman was allowed to keep it under almost identical circumstances. He definitely doesn’t deserve it now but the A.P. should come up with a rule, that would go into effect from 2010 and on, that a player who wins ANY award and fails a drug test within 12 months (before or after), is subject to have it taken from him and re-voted.
    I’m more confused on why he was allowed to even win DefROY if he failed the drug test before the season? When someone fails a drug test shouldn’t their appeal and punishment be handled quickly so that issues like this don’t pop up?

  24. Revote?! Are you people insane? Have you never seen ANY sports where a winner was disqualified so they decided to do the whole event over?? Wake up!
    Cushing gets stripped of the award and it goes to the player who came in second… Byrd.
    K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid
    Revote… what a bunch of mental giants.

  25. Julius Peppers was suspended during his rookie year for using a banned substance and still won ROY over the likes of Ed Reed, John Henderson and Roy Williams. Sometimes voters don’t care.

  26. Vanessa Williams, did nothing wrong and she lost her title.
    Cush is a wuss, and will go the way of Brian Bosworth, without the acting success.

  27. sorry but belichick won coach of the year while being caught cheating. soo relax nfl writers with your morals..also steve mcnair tied peyton manning for the 2003 mvp even though the cholts swept the titans and manning beat mcnair twice.

  28. Florio, why don’t you make yourself useful and investigate why the NFL waited so long to resolve this issue. Which is it: Cushing didn’t file an appeal until February, or the decision on his appeal wasn’t made until February? Did the NFL inform the AP last season that Cushing had a suspension pending? It is ludicrous that the NFL stood by and allowed this guy a Pro Bowl berth AND DROY honors when they knew he had failed a PED drug test. Where was the Merriman Rule applied? Cummon, Florio, get off your butt and do some real investigation instead of wasting our time on your petty little shots at other players or retired players.

  29. “Julius Peppers was suspended during his rookie year for using a banned substance and still won ROY over the likes of Ed Reed, John Henderson and Roy Williams. Sometimes voters don’t care.”
    I was just about to post that…:(

  30. Nevermind on my last comment…forgot this was AP Defensive player award not offensive

  31. A revote seems in order. It’s not like Cushing beat Byrd by 2 votes. He beat the field by 28 votes and Byrd was just the leader of the field with 12% of the vote.

  32. Byrd was ripped off to begin with. It CLEARLY belonged to him then and it CLEARLY belongs to him now.

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