On Monday, an ESPN report claimed that the recently drafted Laremy Tunsil would not be a part of the NFL’s substance abuse program. After a video of Tunsil taking hits of marijuana with a bong and gas mask surfaced during the draft, some expected that he would be placed in the program.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy believed that ESPN spoke to soon on the issue, and claimed that an evaluation of Tunsil was not yet complete.
McCarthy emailed USA Today’s Tom Pelissero on the subject.
“The reports regarding Laremy Tunsil’s status are inaccurate,” the spokesman wrote. “Any incoming player with behavior or conduct involving a substance of abuse will be evaluated by the program’s advisors. Those clinical professionals — not the club, league or union — will determine whether based on that evaluation the player should be entered into the program. Neither the club nor the league has a role in that process, and are not notified of their decision.”
Tunsil himself insists that the video is old news – two years old to be exact, and nothing for anyone to be worried about. After all, Tunsil has not failed a single drug test over the course of his career.
This alone does not exempt him from the program, though. Players who show signs of “physical, behavioral, or psychological” signs of drug use can be placed in the first stage of the league’s program. These players are able to be randomly tested for a 90 day period, and put on a treatment plan.
The player is then moved to the second stage with the threat of a suspension if not completed correctly.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports