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« European Tour Would Honor Vijay Suspension | Main | Vijay WD's To Spend More Time WIth His Lawyer »

"Vijay Singh’s admission...affords the tour a wide-open window to let in transparency and public accountability."

Vijay Singh will serve his time but the bigger issue will be how the PGA Tour and other governing bodies handle this. If history serves as a guide, this will be handled with as little transparency as possible and only give the sport more of a black eye. (Though the tour does announce drug policy violations.)

Still, Karen Crouse asks the questions that need to be asked in the NY Times:

Unlike the major professional sports leagues and even the men’s and women’s professional tennis tours, the PGA Tour has steadfastly refused to announce fines or suspensions. Tour officials do not publicly acknowledge discipline meted out for acts like throwing a club into the gallery, blowing off a mandatory players meeting, getting into an on-course altercation with another player or walking off the course without finishing a round.

Their reasoning is that in the vast majority of cases few people know about the original transgression, so why broadcast it to the masses? How about to send a clear message to players that there is no place in the game for these behaviors? Or to show tour members that they will be held publicly accountable for their misbehavior, which can itself serve as a strong deterrent?

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Reader Comments (32)

I have fifteen minutes...but I don't need the agony.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
I was watching it, and loved it when Ginella rolls his eyes when Pernice hints that Vijay is going to WD with a bad back. RH lee, the guy that got in as last alternate should wear antlers on the 16th tee, the place would go nuts.
A wide open window? Transparency?

Oh no.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTiger Roids
Nasty taste from Bubba Watson's comment in the Crouse article:

[“It’s sad that people live and die by their sport and they have to, I guess, cheat and go around it and try to better themselves with deer antler spray,” he said.]

Isn't he supposed to be a "christian" (PGA Tour variety)? Which commandment is it that suggests kicking a man when he is down?
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
According to Tom Pernice, Vijay's primary goal, job and hobby is to be as good as he can possibly be at playing golf. So he would never, NEVER do anything that would risk that. Or anything that could give him 10 or 15 percent more clubhead speed, and make it possible to hit practice balls indefinitely, and win tournaments into his late 40s. He just wouldn't.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeftHanded Hex
Crouse's odds of success are lower than those faced by Martha Burke.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Amazing what folks will come up with. Deer Antler Juice Spray???!!! REALLY ??!!

Does it work as good as the time proven Lucky Rabbit's Foot?

What will they think of next? Perhaps a new and improved club that's 17yds longer...err...forget it.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
johnny, where you been?!?

Hey, Rub the grundle says the scrotal sac of a dead horse behind the right ear for 3.5 minutes every other day will help you hit it longer! Wonder if he's sold any yet?
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I have tilted at this windmill for 12 years. Over and over and over, with more outrage and acumen and logic than in the NYT piece. Well, so says me, anyway!

As long as Finchem is the commissioner, he is never going to release details of any disciplinary actions.

Part of the reason? You can bet your butts that he does not apply the same punishment yardstick for commensurate incidents. Different guys get zapped in different fashion. And since nobody can compare notes -- he tells the players not to discuss fines/sanctions with anybody -- nobody knows whether Tiger or the other big boys are being fined chump change or real money compared to the peons on tour who commit similar violations.

It's a dictatorship. He makes it up as he goes along. If I recall correctly, he has wide discretionary latitude on meting out sanctions for recreational drug violations, which ought to be codified beyond belief just for the sake of fairness and consistency. Did Matt Every deserve 3 months? Will Vijay even get benched for that long?
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve elling
Vijay will not be suspended. As the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday, researchers at Johns Hopkins hospital who have been conducting research on human growth hormones for the past several decades stated that there is no way that the human body could absorb the banned substance (IGF-1) from deer spray. The substance must be injected into the body with a shot. Vijay admitted only to using the spray.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChema
ya know what Mr. Elling? I really don't care much for tim finchem but in this case if he keeps the media vultures at bay and all lathered up for "a scoop" I give him kudos. it must kill you and your "colleagues" to be kept out in the cold...but think about it, if we were deprived of one more cheap headline or "Insider scoop" would we really suffer? this whole thing is just sooo poor, deprived sports writers, I feel so bad for y'all.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Got a good laugh from the clubhouse after striping a drive off the first tee yesterday -- I reached into my bag and held up a bottle of Fiji water! ;=]

And DTF, I hear tiger balls do a lot more for your long game than the dead horse scrotum. My guy in Fiji can get that for you if you want, but I don't think it comes in a spray.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
Still don't get how you can "cheat" by using something 9/10 (10/10?) scientists and doctors scoff at.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjgw

the whole thing is another overblown media stampede over nothing...but hey, it gives these guys something to write/Tweet/bolg about otherwise we would be bored with "serious reporting"
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
A former #1 admits to using a product that is specifically named as a banned substance in a large story in a large sporting magazine.

I don't know why you think this is a non-story, Bobby, and-- while I don't want to see it beat into the ground for weeks, it is a big story. Bigger than TW not making the cut, and Rory using Nike clubs, bigger than any win thus far this year.

But you are entitled to you opinion, such as it is.

Steve, Geoff and the media has done nothing to overblow this, and if nothing else, the want of being pain free, or having more stamina is certainly on my mind, and I would suspect, you probably fee the same way. These revelations may provide us with what to do and not to do.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Was it Ken Green who once asked someone (his friend Calcavecchia?) how much that tomahawked 9-iron into the turf would cost him? And then find out the answer was "nothing" even though Green had been repeatedly fined for similar behavior?

Actually, Bobby D, if the TOUR announced its disciplinary actions as a matter of policy, there would be no story. Nor would there be many infractions. Embarrassment for most players would be enough and sponsors would not stand for them. Except for a very few, the policy would be, "Do that again and wear a cap that says "FUSE" or "5-Hour Energy Drink" instead of Titleist/TaylorMade/PING/Bridgestone.

01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Great googly-moogly. This whole chapter has made me realize how many absolute idiots exist on the PGA tour. Stickers for back pain? They should place them squarely on their skulls. Of course, they cannot affect an organ that does not exist.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Big K
Transparancy--whenever a reporter uses this word, its code for "please make my job easier"
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Most tour "penalties" (fines and/or suspensions) fall under the broad category of "conduct unbecoming a professional." There is no actual definition in the book. Players are expected to know that they can't violate any of the myriad rules in the handbook and that they are expected to "conduct themselves in a manner becoming professional golfers that will not reflect unfavorably on the PGA Tour, its members, officers or representatives, tournaments or sponsors."

This might be more believable if there was a transparent system tied to the drug testing. But as we know, positive tests for illegal stuff like marijuana remain private (you know, because it's not performance enhancing according to the tour).

Ironically the tour's credibility may be taking a from its own website coverage. They reported Barron's loss in court in a detail-rich 70-word story (that's almost Tweetable!), but the November archive page does not include a news report about his suit or request to play second stage of Q-school, prompting the AP's Doug Ferguson to Tweet:

Fines, and or disciplinary suspensions are at the sole discretion of the Commissioner (Dictator) Finchem. "We do not make public and disciplinary suspensions or fines" Tim Finchem

How convenient.

When is the money laundering investigation going to take place? Seems there are many things happening down in Ponte Vedra that are not being fully reported on (990"s).
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCondoleezza Rice
@ Condolezza Rice

Are you referring to the PGA Tour's 409A deferred compensation Congressional tax exemption with regards to Tim Finchem's bonuses each year?

We get paid the Big Bucks to make this stuff go away..............
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIRS
Pernice said it best, these are questions that only Tim Finchem could answer.

Paging Timothy W. Finchem, Timothy W. Finchem, please pick up the nearest white flashing phone and dial #86 for your message.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorning Drivel
"it is a big story"

it might be big, but so is a pregnant goat.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Transparancy--whenever a reporter uses this word, its code for "please make my job easier"
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd
I know Pernice has always been a mouth piece for VJ but that interview takes it to anouther level.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
It may be pure coincidence, but wasn't Vijay's last big season 2009? The same season that the PGA Tour started drug testing in July? And didn't everyone marvel at his conditioning and work ethic into his mid-40s? Oh yeah, his body started breaking down repeatedly the next year and he hasn't been the same player since. Now he is dabbling in weird, exotic "remedies" to keep him healthy. Makes you wonder what he was willing to put in his body before '09....
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterShady golf
@Shady Golf.... VJs last big year was 2008. Hasn't won on the PGA Tour since. 3 wins in 08. 1 WGC and two FEX Cup events along with the FEX Cup and PGA Tour money leader.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
My bad - misread the pga tour site. Proves my point even more...
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterShady golf
My opinion of Pernice dropped a lot thru this pathetic interview. The MD guys did ok, but Matt is a pill, more interested in Pernice knowing Matt's own opinion, than finding out what Pernice had to say (which was, yes, ''agonizing'')

Mr. 3n's- you been steppin' out? We're Czeching up on you. Inquiring minds -well- they are- uhh- inquiring.

The larger issue, sadly, is ''Did VJ use REAL PED's in his incredible run a few years ago?''

He had a bad start in pro golf, as we all remember. He is open to trying meds to help, which I do not diss, but, hey- somewhere I read something about ''inquiring minds.''

PS: ths was written hours ago, and for some reason, it did not post when I hit the button, still on the typing form field when I walked back in to the room. don't know if it is ''dated''
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I will put it out there - yes, I think VJ was using stuff he shouldn't have been using. No way a middle age body can withstand the pounding of those marathon range sessions. But, just like baseball - no testing, no foul. Only recourse is to keep them out of the hall of fame. Oops! Too late...
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterShady golf
I think, as usual Vijay gets very little sympathy or understanding from many. I understand he does not love the press but he might have some reasons for that.
O'Meara had great run as he approached his 40's. will anyone cast doubt on his accomplishments. How about Kenny Perry or Sam Snead?
By all accounts, Vijays fitness regimen he took on years ago was designed to help him extend his career. His trainer has nothing but good things to say. Biased support I am aware but it we should hear out the facts before jumping to conclusions. Vijay has made a mistake, he readily admits, something far beyond most people in this situation. The usual behavior of planned cheaters is to deny, deny, deny.
It ridiculous what some people believe will help them, but Vijay is Fujian, not American. Eastern populations believe in these things more often than westerners to be sure.
Why rush to judgement? Why the tone??
He admits to taking a Product which contains a banned substance but has been proven cannot be absorbed when taken orally. So he could not have benefitted from ingesting it. That's an important discussion.
I am amazed we are several comments deep an nobody has brought up the scorecard scandal of nearly 20 years ago yet.
I am always amazed that no matter what Vijay accomplishes, writers routinely mention the scorecard scandal whenever they profile Vijay, 15 years after paying the price for that mistake. Writers still ask him about it regularly.
Now, be honest, would that happen to a white American boy? Really, be honest.
I think not.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKG
KG, interesting points. I'd agree that VS has been made to relive the scandal more than White golfer would. I think back to Gary Player's indiscretion at the Open and would suggest that his behaviour behind the 18th green was a more egregious example of rule-breaking than what VS did. Did Player's actions haunt him the way Singh's has...I think not. Still, if he used a banned substance, jeez deer-antler FCOL, he should be suspended. But transparently, so that we can see other golfers being held to the same degree of accountability. Finchem and the Tour have lost the plot on this.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commentermeefer
KG, thought provoking. Possibly sheds a little light on the other favorite whipping boy and his "lap dog"...
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

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