New book blames Kosar’s slurred speech on oxycodone from Browns

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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.

54 responses to “New book blames Kosar’s slurred speech on oxycodone from Browns

  1. If the drug is legally prescribed, the organization is not responsible for any addiction the recipient develops. Say someone skiing breaks their leg badly and gets prescribed oxycodone for a limited time period. Would the hospital then be responsible if the patient developed an addiction and for any behavior that results from that addiction? Of course not. Unless someone can prove that the Browns or an NFL team was prescribing medication illegally, this spin is much ado about nothing.

  2. Oxycodone and…? As an emergency medical professional I can tell you it takes quite a bit of the Percocet pill to make one slur their speech.

  3. Great idea, lets blame the drug instead of the one to ingests it. Just like blame the gun vs the one holding it….

    Hello responsibility and accountability!?

    And you wonder why we have an entitlement generation these days……

  4. We are all wired different genetically… I’ve played football and yes I have an addiction too oxy.. Not proud of it but it’s a weakness.. It happens to some if us.. Injuries did me in. I fight daily trying to cut back. I feel for him and until you walk a mile in his shoes you don’t understand.

  5. It’s pretty hard to miss when shooting quacks in a barrel. I still recommend a Gatling gun (or rocket launcher if you are in a hurry), just because it’s loud and gets more attention and sends a clearer message. A visitor could pull up and have no idea what happened if you used something conservative like a pistol. If you were going to take all that time to hunt and peck it would be more practical to just poke a hole in the top and fill the barrel with water.

  6. I blame Bernie. The grown adult who took drugs. He has been out of football over 20 years. This is crap

  7. I fell for Kosar…. We are all wired different genetically and have our vices… I played ball and have the same addiction to oxy.., injuries did me in.. Until you walk a mile in ones shoes you wouldn’t understand

  8. If you watch the film 30 For 30: The U, there is a short segment in there where Bernie addresses the team. He was probably 20 years old … His speech was not normal. He has had a speech impediment for many years …. I’m not sure why this continues to be blamed on alcohol and now drugs … has anyone heard him speak without this problem, ever?

  9. The VA Hospital in Memphis prescribed Oxycodone to my Uncle years ago. To hear his nurse tell it, he suffered a bad case of the ‘Browns’ every day thereafter.

  10. If you’ve never suffered from an addiction, there is no reason for you to speak on this subject matter. You obviously don’t understand what addiction is capable of…

  11. When reached for comment, the author Dr. Seuss said “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish”.

  12. luz56 says: Jul 20, 2014 6:19 PM

    We are all wired different genetically… I’ve played football and yes I have an addiction too oxy.. Not proud of it but it’s a weakness.. It happens to some if us.. Injuries did me in. I fight daily trying to cut back. I feel for him and until you walk a mile in his shoes you don’t understand.

    After tearing my ACL I was prescribed Oxy. It’s easy to get hooked on it.

    But, I also took a Drug Use and Abuse class in college and learned that it is a sort of disorder in the brain to cause people to get addicted.

    Then we throw drug addicts in jail, when they should be getting help.

    Sucks that all of this just gets ignored, but it does.

  13. I know the NFL is guilty as hell when it comes to being deceitful about the health of it’s players. And I know teams never gave a damn about the long term damage a player takes as long as they are in the damn game. But at some point does a player have to take some responsibility for their condition.

  14. Love Bernie Kosar. The last great QB we had.

    This is exactly why the NFL is keeping salaries down. They know they are going to get sued out the wazoo in the next few years

  15. Just finished the book and the kosar info was about two lines in the whole book. It had a whole chapter on the baseball team and steroids and how the football team cheated drug tests. How they would skip a mandatory drug test, and go to the doctor or hospital. Can’t remember which one with a fake illness. Then they would take the drug test off campus and use someone that looked like them at the testing center that was clean. They would also use a wizzenator. The U was as dirty as they come.

  16. I myself wondered why the law has never gotten involved in pro sports and its drug problems. All major leagues have on record the guys who’ve failed tests for whatever and publicly release why they suspend them. PEDS, coke, weed, what have you illegally gained. Not one cop, DA or DEA official questioned it. Now that some guys are bringing up prescription drugs, it is now an issue. Kosar has a demon, be it booze, pills or brain damage. There are a lot of people who don’t intend on addiction but fall prey to it. Favre admitted to addiction and was applauded for being open about,but Kosar does and now he’s a drunkard or fool. I hope the man gets help and can live the remainder of his life sober.

  17. If they let pro athletes smoke weed and not take oxy they would be healthier.

    No one overdosed from smoking weed.

    Most of these guys just want 8 hours sleep.

  18. This isn’t going to be a popular sentiment but I would like to say that I loved being on oxycodone after my surgery. It was awesome.

    Having said that, I only finished half my prescription and threw the rest away.

  19. pipkinite
    July 20, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT
    Oxycodone and…? As an emergency medical professional I can tell you it takes quite a bit of the Percocet pill to make one slur their speech.
    As an emergency medical professional you should know they aren’t the same drug. Anyway this sounds more like oxycontin

    But for everyone who wants to judge him, heres some info:
    “The risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms is high if a patient has become physically dependent or addicted and discontinues oxycodone abruptly.”

  20. Bernie Kosar is a good man.
    I wish him only the best and I hope he really gets a shot to do color commentating on football games again someday as his insight as to what is about to happen before the ball is snapped in unmatched.

  21. Hearing Kosar commentate for preseason games is amazing. His pre-snap intelligence of the defense is just awesome. All along I thought his slurred speech was because he was drunk.

  22. I took legally prescribed opiates for several years. Nothing made me slur like alcohol. Oxy is more or less a time-release opiate that is easily broken down, but is not a depressant.

  23. Bernie:
    You just blew your chance at filing for concussion like symptoms/side effects.

    Just when I thought you couldnt get any dumber you prove me wrong!

  24. I think this is just BS. (Not the side effects–the part about the team doctors) Bernie has been messed up for years. It isn’t just slurred speech that makes one wonder about him. Listen to the incomprehensible rants. Slurred or not, Bernie has been combining words in ways nobody has ever tried before. Maybe he has issues caused by prescription meds. Maybe he is just constantly drunk and is looking for something else to blame

  25. Corporations are good at presenting a false appearance of ethical standards, while at the same time nurturing a workplace culture that is anything but the phony appearance they put on public display. Senior management insulates themselves from direct ties to the illegal practices, while criminal noncompliance of legal standards becomes the norm for employees interested in keeping their jobs.

  26. I’ve been taking oxycodone and oxycontin for over a decade due to back problems and I can tell you from experience that slurred speech is definitely NOT one of the side effects of oxy. You would have to take a massive amount of it, basically intentionally overdose, and even then you would probably pass out before your speech was slurred. Now mixing alcohol with oxy on the other hand….

  27. @pipkinite, the 2nd day after open heart bypass surgery I was slurring my speech. It was determined it came from oxycodone.

  28. Bunch of junkies on this board as well. People live with pain daily that don’t take medication designed for stage 4 cancer patients. My I be on the drugs for years because of pain is bs. You are an addict and the pain is mental. Your body craves the oxys because you are addicted to them. You use other ailments such as back to justify that. I’m sure many doctors have cut you off and you went to another doctor. Your an addict bro and a junkie

  29. @luz56 there is help out there for addiction if you want it. Stop blaming people, places or things and ask for help. If you continue your addiction it is because you want to not because you have to.

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