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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Cox's counter move

Don't close the book on Torrie Cox just yet.

The reserve cornerback who was suspended without pay for the first four games of the season on Tuesday fired back on Thursday, appealing that ruling. The details of the appeal aren't clear, but Cox's agent, Peter Schaffer, said he does not feel "the punishment fits the crime. And there were some serious issues of due process violations."

The league's substance-abuse policy provides for appeals within five days of the initial ruling. The appeal must be made in writing directly to the commissioner's office. The commissioner will then set a time and place for a hearing, when Cox and his representatives may present evidence and/or testimony to support their position.

Now, the obvious question here is whether this has any chance of success. The answer is who knows? Without knowing more about the nature of the appeal, it's hard to determine whether it's really valid. But one would like to think that this was a well-thought-out decision and not just a desperate attempt.

Here's two cents, for what it's worth: when narcotics or drugs are involved, there would seem to be less of a gray area. But Cox's violation is believed involve alcohol, as Schaffer indicated to us when the news broke (read here). The substance-abuse policy is very specific regarding drugs and steroids. It is much less specific about alcohol because players who are in the program for issues involving alcohol often are entered into a program that is tailored specifically for them. Seems that might open the door to some potential confusion.

It's not clear how long this will take to play out, but if it runs into the season, Cox won't have to begin serving his suspension until the outcome of the appeal.

We'll keep you posted.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:46pm]

    

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