Suspension

JP. O’Hagan, Sports Editor

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Browns Star Josh Gordon out for season

During the greatness Cleveland sports saw over the summer, everyone knew we would come down from the clouds sooner or later. We were just hoping it would be later.

As of Wednesday afternoon the Browns leading wide receiver, Josh Gordon, has been officially suspended for the entire 2014-2015 campaign. The wide out has been one of the few bright spots for the Browns since they returned to the city in 1999. The young star has already put up monster numbers in his short career pulling in 137 passes for 2,451 yards and 14 touchdowns over the past two years. His suspension removes the biggest aerial threat for Week 1 starter Brian Hoyer, the winner of the NFL’s most highly publicized quarterback position battle.

Gordon was suspended for a second failed drug test which came back positive for marijuana. There has been plenty of outcry over the past two weeks; the suspension was appealed on the basis that his urine sample tests came back with only one of two samples positive and just barely over the limit. He claimed to have gotten the positive test due to secondhand smoke. The appeal was considered by the NFL and took an unusually long 22 days of time to be returned. The issue that has arisen is that this was not Gordon’s first failed drug test, as he has had positive drug tests in both college and since arriving in the NFL. He served a two game suspension last season; cutting back on the fantastic numbers he managed to put up in just 14 games.

The biggest story that will come out of this decision is the widely perceived lack of consistency for player discipline in the NFL. The league has banned Gordon off of failing half of a two-part drug testing policy. Furthermore, the NFL has been unusually gracious in the largest discipline story of the off-season, that being Baltimore’s Ray Rice caught on video physically abusing his girlfriend, and only being handed down a two-game suspension in response warranting a large public outcry. However, this is Gordon’s second failed test and the league did follow the players’ agreed upon, while misguided, disciplinary rules. The harshest sanction to come out of the suspension is that Gordon is not allowed to attend any Browns practices or function. This seems very counterproductive if the idea of the suspension is to get Gordon back on the straight and narrow.

Gordon’s suspension puts any hopes of a Browns revival on the back burner. Hopefully the Browns can surprise the city and pull off a Cinderella story of a season.