Greg Schiano's team is winless and now he may be investigated by the NFLPA. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)
Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano flatly denied he was the one responsible for leaking confidential information about Josh Freeman to the public. "Absolutely not," Schiano said when asked if he had been behind the revelation that Freeman is a Stage One participant in the NFL's substance-abuse program.
The NFLPA seems to believe that Schiano is hiding the truth.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the NFL Players Association is seeking a joint investigation into the Tampa Bay situation -- replacing the NFL-led one -- because "the union says it has no confidence in the NFL's separate investigation". The NFLPA investigation would give the union an opportunity to interview Schiano, who, Pelissero reported, is "the man they believe is behind a breach of quarterback Josh Freeman's confidential information".
Speculation quickly centered on Schiano after Freeman's presence in the league's drug program surfaced. That bit of information was part of a long line of anti-Freeman news to hit the wire over the course of about two weeks prior to Freeman's release. Also included in the mix were allegations that Freeman missed multiple team meetings as well as the Buccaneers' team photo.
"I really don’t want to get into what Josh’s thoughts are about how things got out," Schiano said in a press conference on Oct. 1. "I know what I’ve done, and I’m 100 percent comfortable with my behavior. One hundred percent."
Freeman himself released a statement to address his participation in the league's drug program. In it, he admitted to the "one-time mistake" of taking Ritalin rather than Adderall for his diagnosed ADHD. He said he then voluntarily admitted himself to the league's testing program, and subsequently passed 46 different drug tests.
He also wrote:
Since the confidentiality of my medical status has been publicly violated, I am choosing to address this matter so that grossly erroneous assumptions about me do not persist. ...
I agreed to allow such testing to be done at my workplace (team facility) because I spend all of my time there and I have nothing whatsoever to hide or be embarrassed about.
Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information. It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other. I remain dedicated and focused to being the best quarterback I can be and to help a team win a championship.
Freeman has since signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings
. Schiano, meanwhile, has plenty of non-Freeman-related questions to answer in light of Tampa Bay's 0-4 start.