As he spoke to the assembled media on Tuesday afternoon during the latest organized team activities (OTAs) that the San Francisco 49ers are holding, Jim Harbaugh was asked a question about the Seattle Seahawks.
Asked what he thought about the fact that five Seahawks players had been caught for violating the NFL‘s performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) policy, Harbaugh stated it was something of a concern and he has taken notice of it. During the same period, one 49ers player was been caught and that was Larry Grant who is no longer on the team or an active roster in the league with any team.
Harbaugh stressed that he wants his team’s to be above reproach about being accused or cited as a team who engages in the use of PEDs. He went as far as to quote his former college coach at Michigan, Bo Schembechler in stressing this point about not cheating and not needing to in order to win.
Many will say Harbaugh needs to not comment about others on such an issue, especially with regards to a team in his own division or that he might be off-base, but they are missing the point. The main point is that Pete Carroll in his own way has created and allowed for PED violations to become commonplace with the Seahawks.
Going back to when he was head coach with USC, Pete Carroll was known to run a program that on the edges was lax in terms of discipline. One needs to look no further than how Carroll left the USC job, right before it would be sanctioned by the NCAA for violations.
Now with the Seahawks, the fact that five players have been suspended, one of those eventually being overturned on appeal, shows that a pattern of behavior with Carroll and his teams exist. This is not to mention that the latest suspensions for PED violations have been because of the use of Adderall.
Questions of why the Seahwaks seem to have a culture of cheating and violating the league’s PED policy need to be asked of Carroll. He also needs to be questioned about why this lack of discipline and respect for rules or authority amongst his teams always comes up.
These PED violations are not an isolated incident with the Seahawks, and it is clear it’s a systemic issue within the organization. While many might not like who expressed concern, the fact is that it shouldn’t matter; Carroll and the Seahawks need to be questioned.