As if it couldn't get any more embarrassing for the Houston Texans and Brian Cushing, the Associated Press has decided to re-vote on the Defensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2009 season. This decision is pretty unprecedented, but the circumstances seem to warrant the move. Cushing won the award last year, but from September to May, Cushing was caught twice using a banned performance enhancing substance. Cushing was recently suspended the first four games of the 2010 season for failing a drug test. Cushing tried to appeal, but was denied.
The disgraced Texans linebacker will be an eligible candidate in the re-vote, but it's pretty reasonable to assume that if the AP is re-voting on this, Cushing will likely get stripped of his DRotY award.
It's easy for us to sit back and pile it on the Texans for drafting a cheating scumbag like Cushing despite the warning signs. But, instead of bashing the Texans we should applaud the efforts of the AP and the NFL to get this thing right. Cheating cheapens a sport. Why spend hundreds of dollars caring about a league if that league doesn't give two farts about its participants following the rules? In this case, when cheaters like Cushing are caught, it is refreshing to see fair and decisive judgment levied against them. Cushing is undeserving of his award, but rather than outright stripping him of it, the AP will simply re-vote considering the new circumstances.
In the end, the "correct" player will win the award, and Brian Cushing will spend the first four games of the 2010 NFL season at home pondering his own stupidity. This includes Week One against the Colts. Cushing should also think hard about touching anything that even remotely resembles something on the NFL's banned substances list. One more failed drug test, and Cushing get suspended for an entire year.
We fans don't see this kind of strict enforcement of fair play rules in sports like baseball, basketball, or hockey. This is why the NFL is the Jupiter of professional sports leagues, and everything else is just insignificant space dust.