Posted October 13, 2013

Report: NFLPA believes Greg Schiano leaked confidential Josh Freeman info

NFC South, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Greg Schiano-Josh Freeman saga may soon reach a boiling point with the NFLPA's latest allegations. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

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.

25 comments
DSM
DSM

SI's Peter King was Schiano's biggest booster, praising his skill and his character for his support of his paralyzed player.  I suspect free agents will not be eager to play for him after this.

The source could also have been a Schiano staffer with or without his knowledge as payback for Freeman's criticizing the coach.  It seems very spiteful and vindictive.  Unfortunately, the journalist who received the tip and published it will say the First Amendment gives him the right to conceal the identity of whoever did this malicious act.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Trust is so important especially in the head coach of an NFL team. If your head coach is a lying backstabbing low down weasel gutter rat like Greg Schiano then you are doomed.  No player will ever come to Tampa to play for a rat. especially a lying rat like Schiano. 

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

This guy is a real POS and has no business in coaching.  He can't be trusted, and he has no clue what loyalty is or how to treat his players.  We should have known when he wanted to go full speed on a kneel down.  This may be the only person in football who makes Lane Kiffen look good...

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

Who had the most to gain by releasing the information? The Bucs were trying to trade Freeman, why would they try to damage Freemans reputation thus ruining any chance of getting something in return for Freeman. It was Freemans camp that leaked the information so he could become a free agent and thus be able to negotiate with any team of his choosing.

RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

Wouldn't surprise anyone - this is the same moron who has his team stupidly pile into teams who are taking a knee.  What an idiot.  I'm loving all the losses he's racking up.  Totally awesome.  BUCS SUCK.  LOL

kj4027
kj4027

Ok people... he is not a disgrace as a coach. He made Rutgers into a legitimate Div 1 school again. During his 10 years at Rutgers they went to 6 bowl games and won 5. He single-handed revamped Rutgers Football program and was responsible for the school building their new stadium and facilities. I agree that he was not ready to coach a pro team as his only pro experience was 3 years with the Bears. He is a hot head and definitely has a god complex. Rutgers gave him a tremendous amount of power and it all went to his head. He would be better off at the college level or as an assistant coach for some pro team.

StephenGrange
StephenGrange

Dude is soon to be unemployed as a head coach..He ain't good at his job.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Schiano is an absolute disgrace as a coach (and as a man, so far as I can see). I'd like to see the owners fire him for cause. I'm sure they'd be able to prove it, and then they can save the money on his contract. We all know that the Glazer's are , um, let's say 'thrifty'. Schiano is a failure on every level.

jdane
jdane

Schiano has been "100% confident in his behavior" even when it is completely bush-league (like having his players fire off the ball during a game-ending kneel down).

joeshine730
joeshine730

Schiano is finished as an NFL coach. When you lie and deceive your own players and the players know you are a a liar and no good then your career is over. Reference Butch davis who lied to the Browns players and was fired. Good bye Greg you  weak lying rat weasel.

gary41
gary41

@HarshRealities What makes anyone think logic and clear thinking has anything to do with this speculation??  Schiano has consistently made mistake after mistake all along the way acting in his capacity as head coach.   

MarkPost
MarkPost

@RomarioDelLago Why would you love punishing fans because of their coach?  They didn't pick him and they can't fire him.  Stop being a jerk.

BlackRobbb
BlackRobbb

@kj4027 To be an assistant at the pro level, you need some degree of credibility earned at the pro level. Greg has none. His stint at Rutgers was "cute", but it proved nothing more than the fact that he could mold cast-offs rejected by major programs. I could probably do that.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@kj4027 Who cares - it's college football. So bizarre how much Americans care about kids playing football...

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@kj4027 The proof is in his conduct, I think. He did have some college success, you've shown that. I mean as a person. He is a man I would NEVER wish to meet. 

mystafugee
mystafugee

@kj4027 Which is why he belongs in the amateurs since you can act like a jack@ss and dictator since there's not a lot of accountability.