Carroll: Seahawks support Irvin despite suspension

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


RENTON, Wash. -- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll understood selecting Bruce Irvin was a risk because of off-the-field issues when Seattle drafted the speedy pass rusher at No. 15 overall in the 2012 draft.
For that reason, Carroll says he's willing to continue to support the West Virginia product after the NFL announced this week that Irvin violated the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, resulting in a four-game suspension.
"Unfortunately if you go wrong, you get popped," Carroll said. "And that's how this thing works. And I'm really disappointed that we have to deal with anything like this, but there's going to be other issues, too, and we have to deal with them.
"For Bruce, we're going to try and help him along as best as we possibly can. And he's made an enormous commitment to try and do the right thing, and to try and be right. He made a mistake, and he admitted to it. And he owned up to his teammates. ... He wants to do right and show that he can. And we're going to see that through."
For his part, Irvin said all of the right things through a statement released by the team. Irvin was not made available after Seattle's first organized team activity this week.
"I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption," Irvin said in the release. "I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions."
Irvin is eligible to return to the Seattle's active roster on Sept. 30 following the team's Sept. 29 game at Houston.
He will miss Seattle's season opener at Carolina, home contests against San Francisco and Jacksonville, along with the road contest against the Texans.
Irvin is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
The suspension will cost Irvin $191,681 in base salary in 2013. He reportedly tested positive for an amphetamine-type substance similar to the drug Adderall.
In the statement, Irvin said he would not appeal the suspension.
Carroll also addressed growing concerns nationally that he's running a rogue program. Irvin gives the Seahawks a league-leading seventh player to test positive for a performance-enhancing substance during the Seattle head coach's tenure, which began in January 2010. Among that group, cornerback Richard Sherman had his penalty reversed because of a chain-of-custody issue during the collection of his urine sample.
According to NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello, the Seahawks could be fined for having multiple players suspended in a season for violating the drug, steroid or personal-conduct policies.
"There are financial consequences for a team that has multiple players suspended in a season under those policies," Aiello said.
The Seahawks could face such actions because multiple players have been suspended for violating the banned-substance rules in the past year.
Seattle could be fined a portion of the salaries of the players that have been suspended based on an agreed-upon formula.
"We have to figure this out and try to help through education and through all of the ways we can," Carroll said. "And we'll always compete to find more creative ways to make the message clear."
Faced with his team's growing list of violations on performance-enhancing drugs, Seahawks general manager John Schneider went public with his disappointment on SiriusXM NFL Radio, insisting the club has "gone above and beyond what the league has done," to educate players.
Schneider told hosts Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon that the Seahawks were working hard on the problem.
"This is something we take very seriously here," Schneider said. "The league has done a great job of educating guys, and we've actually gone above and beyond what the league has done. We have a guy in place here that helps our player-development people. You do what you can. It's very disappointing.
"Pete and I sat down with Bruce. Pete addressed it with the team. Bruce addressed the team.
"And, you know, really good organizations are the organizations that can take body blows. We look at this as a learning opportunity and one that obviously needs to be addressed, but this is also an opportunity for others to step forward."