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Suspension Awaits If Irvin Drags Feet

Fri., April 5, 1996

Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys is risking suspension by failing to respond to the NFL’s drug abuse program, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported today.

A source told the newspaper the All-Pro receiver has not responded to an NFL letter informing him of plans to enroll him in the first stage of the league’s substance abuse program. But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones met with Irvin on Thursday and said the player promised to be cooperative with the league, which will require him to submit to an evaluation regarding a possible chemical dependency.

“I don’t know anything about it,” said Irvin, indicted Monday for drug possession, of the NFL’s concern.

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Jones questioned Irvin’s judgment but said he’s confident the player has no drug problem.

The first stage of the league’s drug policy guidelines calls for “evaluation and treatment” of a player if his behavior indicates a drug problem.

The Star-Telegram said the NFL sent a representative to Irvin’s home last week to inform him that failing to comply with the first stage may trigger immediate advancement to the second stage, resulting in automatic four-game suspension without pay.


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