Understanding Thurman's banishment... well, trying to

Hey, guess what? Another Odell Thurman post. Sorry. I had some ramblings on my mind after a letter was sent to the Players Union to appeal the Thurman sentence.

Now, first of all, let's examine something.

This just isn't your run-of-the-mill suspension. The NFL takes its drug policy very seriously and when Thurman was dropped for the entire 2006 season, he was essentially kicked out of football. The reason for reinstatement, which doesn't apply to people under basic four game suspensions, is to become eligible to play in the NFL again. That much we're figuring out on our own.

I know it's just me being technical. I've said that he will be suspended for 32 games over a two year period, when in reality, he's simply kicked out of football until the discretion of the chancellor graces his glory to the god of second chances. Either descriptive word works. Only the expectation of time and the process of returning is different.

Take Ricky Williams for example. He, like Thurman, was kicked out of the NFL for violating the drug policy. Williams started the process for reinstatement -- eligible April 27. A few weeks after that, Williams tested positive for pot. It's expected that he'll be up for reinstatement in September.

As it appears to me, a player that violates the substance abuse policy multiple times, isn't just suspended. They're completely kicked out of the NFL. You can apply for reinstatement and hope that the football gods believe in second chances. Either way, it's becoming clear to me that Thurman isn't suspended. He's expelled from the NFL until Goodell says otherwise.

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