As I reported yesterday, Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing could lose his Defensive Rookie of the Year award for testing positive for the performance enhancing drug human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This isn’t even a steroid it’s a female fertility drug, but is commonly used when coming off of a steroid cycle to get your testosterone production back on track. This is also the same drug that benched Manny Ramirez for 50 games last season.
This got me to thinking. Should the award be stripped from him? Technically they didn’t catch him using a “steroid”, but this same drug put Manny on the bench. So should the NFL follow suit?
If I had to vote one way or the other, I would have to say take the award away from him. Look at the before and after pictures of the guy and you decide if he used steroids or not. Although taking away his award could send us down a very slippery slope.
What if, purely hypothetical, when Adrian Peterson won the award in 2007 for Offensive Rookie of the Year, one of his linemen was caught using PEDs? Should we strip Peterson of his award? The offensive lineman was opening gaping holes for him to run through.
What if in 2008, when Matt Ryan won the Offensive ROY, one of his linemen tested positive for PEDs? That lineman was giving Ryan valuable seconds to find the open receiver.
How about if Cushing hadn’t been caught using PEDs, but one of the defensive tackles had been? Those DTs were holding blockers from getting to Cushing and allowed him to get to the ball carrier.
Do we strip Hall of Famers of awards because they admit to using PEDs years later? In baseball, should Barry Bonds be stripped of his home run record if he is found guilty of knowing he used PEDs? What about others like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa?
This is something I have been thinking about and Cushing losing this award is the right step. The guy needs to be punished, but I’m not sure what the ramifications would be of him losing this award. I think we could be opening a door we may not want to. Where would the award stripping stop?
If you do not take the award away from him, what is that teaching up and coming players in any sport? Is that telling them that it is okay to cheat?
Like I said, a very slippery slope. Both arguments have good and bad points. Where does everyone else stand on this? I would like to hear what you have to say.