Sports Writers Won’t Let Coach Washburn Forget His Steroid Past

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James Washburn, a football defensive line coach, was recently hired by the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach Washburn is currently one of the National Football League’s most respected coaches at that position. However, sports writers are determined to never allow Washburn to forget that he was involved in one of the largest steroid scandals in college football history — over twenty years ago.

Hated to bring it up, considering how refreshingly charismatic new Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn was this morning at the NovaCare Complex, but I had to ask him to at least comment on his time at the University of South Carolina in the 1980s, which ended with a conviction for his role in a steroid scandal with the football program.

“I did a stupid thing a long time ago,” Washburn admitted, “and I’ve paid for it ever since. They sent us to prison. I let down my family. It was a stupid thing. I guess I’ll pay for it the rest of my life. I guess I’ll never take another job without somebody bringing it up. That’s life.

To be fair, Coach Washburn’s involvement in the University of South Carolina steroid scandal is of historic significance. The scandal as told by Gamecock player Tommy Chaikin with the help of  Rick Telander in Sports Illustrated was a major impetus (combined with the Winstrol scandal with Ben Johnson at the 1998 Seoul Olympics) behind the political grandstanding that led to the passage of the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990.

Furthermore, the events that occurred in the South Carolina Gamecock football program were immortalized as the basis for the 1993 Hollywood movie – “The Program”, a movie sensationalizing the side effects of steroids at a fictional major university football program.

In 1993, Williams-Brice Stadium was the setting for the movie, “The Program” – a college football movie that starred James Caan, Halle Berry, Omar Epps and, of course, Andrew Bryniarski who play Steve “Roid Rage” Latimer.

About Millard Baker