The age of disinformation

The closer we get to next week's draft, the more information, or disinformation, becomes available about certain players.

Last week, we learned that Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib reportedly admitted to NFL teams that he had tested positive for marijuana use three times in college, finally drawing a suspension. If that wasn't enough to raise some red flags about Talib – who has visited the Pittsburgh Steelers – he also skipped a visit with the Dallas Cowboys, which makes one wonder – if these things are true – how serious the young man is about playing football.

Finally, while tooling around the Internet, I found a story from the Sacramento Bee on linebacker/defensive end Quentin Groves stating that Groves had "minor" heart surgery last month. But, hey, Groves, another player who has visited the Steelers, should be fine.

Maybe the heart surgery was minor. But if I was going to give Groves a long-term contract worth millions, such a thing would cause me to pause first.

But the question is, how much of this stuff can you believe?

The teams know exactly how much of this stuff is true and how much isn't. And, in fact, certain teams may be behind some of this information becoming public.

It's just one of the many offseason games NFL teams play with each other, particularly in the Internet age, when every bit of information is just a click away.

© When Cedrick Wilson was released last month following his arrest for assaulting his former girlfriend in a crowded bar, many pundits claimed the Steelers weren't being consistent.

Why did the team release Wilson and not linebacker James Harrison or running back Najeh Davenport, two players facing similar charges?

At the time, I simply stated that while Wilson allegedly punched his former girlfriend in a crowded bar with multiple witnesses, there were no witnesses in Harrison and Davenport's cases other than the two men and the two women involved.

In the past couple of weeks, charges against Harrison were dropped, while Davenport won a case in court, showing that I was right.

I'm not saying that domestic violence isn't abhorrent and doesn't occur. But when it becomes a case of one person's word against another, it's awfully hard to prove guilt unless there are obvious signs of trauma. It become a case of he said-she said. And any parent knows that there is no good way to settle such disputes without evidence.

In Wilson's case, however, with a number of witnesses available, there was no way he was going to be proven innocent.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


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