In case you lost count, since 2011 the Seattle Seahawks have had five players suspended for PED use, and Jim Harbaugh has “definitely noticed it.” After the San Francisco 49ers finished up the first of a three-day minicamp on Tuesday, Harbaugh said this about the Seahawks’ suspensions:
I’ve definitely noticed it. You don’t know what it is. Even when people say what it is, you don’t know that that’s what it is. For this, throw it out, or it’s that. But that’s usually the agents of the players themselves saying it’s, for example, Adderall.
But the NFL doesn’t release what it actually is. So you have no idea. You’re taking somebody at their word, that I don’t know that you can take them at their word, understanding the circumstances.
The Seahawks have had the following players, in chronological order, suspended for PED use: offensive guard John Moffitt (2011), offensive tackle Allen Barbre (2012), safety Winston Guy (2012), cornerback Brandon Browner (2012) and defensive end Bruce Irvin (2013). Cornerback Richard Sherman was also suspended for using Adderall last season, however, it was overturned in December because he won an appeal.
From now on, should Niners fans refer to their division rivals as the Seadderall Seahawks?
There is definitely a pattern here and it’s no coincidence that all of the suspensions have occurred with Pete Carroll as Seattle’s head coach. While Carroll may not have condoned the PED use, it is clear he did not make an example out of Moffitt, Barbre, Guy or Browner to other players, nor did he set the record straight that PED use would not be tolerated on his team. All you have to do is look at Irvin’s suspension which was handed down just last month to figure this out.
Either Carroll did nothing as I said or Irvin tuned him out and used the PEDs anyways. Because of Irvin’s cheating, he will miss the first four games of the upcoming season, which includes a Week 2 matchup against the 49ers.
Carroll said this when asked about Harbaugh’s comments:
We’ve kind of dealt with this to set into motion a really clear mindset to take care of business and treat this situation that is around the league very seriously. I don’t know about commenting about anybody else’s team, but as far as we’re concerned, we feel like we’ve addressed it directly.
Harbaugh and Carroll already have a long and heated rivalry that dates back to when both were head coaches in college, with Harbaugh at Stanford and Carroll at USC. This will certainly add more fuel to the fire. I bet Harbaugh has been waiting and licking his chops to speak out about the Seahawks’ recent suspension and their history of PED use.
Clearly, using PEDs is wrong for any player on any team to use. But where Carroll failed to get it through to his players to stop using PEDs, Harbaugh said he has made sure this will not happen with the 49ers. He said he told his players:
It has no place in an athlete’s body. Play by the rules. And you always want to be above reproach. Especially when you’re good, because you don’t want people to come back and say they’re winning because they’re cheating. So we want to be above reproach in everything and do everything by the rules. Because if you cheat to win, then you’ve already lost, according to Bo Schembechler. And Bo Schembechler is about next to the word of God as you can get in my mind. It’s not the word of God, but it’s close.