Mike Lupica Calls Out Tim Finchem
By Torleif Sorenson on 8/4/14
In the wake of Friday's blockbuster news from Golf.com's Michael Bamberger and Mike Walker that Dustin Johnson was suspended from the PGA Tour for failing a drug test, the public relations spinning began almost immediately.

"With regard to media reports that Dustin Johnson has been suspended by the PGA Tour, this is to clarify that Mr. Johnson has taken a voluntary leave of absence and is not under a suspension from the PGA Tour," the Tour said in a prepared statement from vice president Ty Votaw.

Nobody should be surprised that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has been almost universally excoriated for the Tour's secrecy and a lack of transparency we have become used to seeing from the federal government. But New York Daily News sports writer Mike Lupica has penned a column that puts the Tour bosses' decision-making in a relevant context, alongside that of other major professional sports leagues. Among the salient comments from Lupica are these:
"Finchem, Votaw's boss, has always operated under the smug, chowderheaded notion that fans of the sport — and they know who they are, even as television ratings continue to plummet — don't care about the private lives of its stars. That is why Johnson can come back from a previous absence from the Tour saying he was recovering from a jet ski accident, when Golf.com says that it was really because of an initial suspension for drugs.

"You know why they look like they're hiding something? Because they are. Not in the interests of protecting Johnson or his reputation, but because they think that the truth about how everybody arrived at this moment is really, really bad for business. You can only imagine the hand-wringing from Finchem back in the day when they found out Tiger Woods had been treated by Dr. Anthony Galea."
Lupica's column is worth the time to read — especially for the men and women running the PGA Tour. With this latest bit of embarrassment courtesy of Dustin Johnson, it is time for the Tour to change they way they do this sort of business.

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Image via Twitter, PGA Tour

[ comments ]
joe jones says:
Why Finchem is white washing this is easy to explain. The PGA has always painted the tour as the only sport that doesn't have a drug problem. After all they are so pure that they call penalties on themselves,at least most of the time, maybe, unless they are caught.They would do anything to keep that image clean.Anybody that has had an opportunity to get close to the tour knows that there are players who cheat on their wives, overly booze it up once in a while and yes , smoke a joint or two.The drinkers soon realize that booze gives you the shakes. That does nothing to calm your verves. They stop drinking or they they are gone very quickly. Maryjane does nothing to make you a better golfer.It just deludes you into thinking you are. PED's and steroids may help one heal faster but I doubt whether it makes you hit the ball better, straighter or further. They certainly don't improve a putting stroke.The bottom line is the players feel they are entitled and can get away with it. They can't and never will.
bkuehn1952 says:
"Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant" U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

The Tour needs to re-evaluate their policy of secrecy. Leaving an information void only allows the bottom-feeding press to speculate and generate rumors.
sjduffers says:
Of course Finchem can say with a straight face that DJ is not under suspension and is leaving voluntarily and still be "honest". The PGA Tour players have a clause in their contract that allow them to exit (gracefully) before they are forced to, so it all looks nicer for everyone. Kind of like: "Are you gonna jump or do you need a little push?" when walking the plank. It does not change the fact that the condemned was walking the plank in the first place, or that DJ was facing suspension regardless. If not, he would have waited until after the PGA Championship and maybe even the Ryder Cup to take care of his "personal challenges". What's another week or three?
Torleif Sorenson says:
1,000 points for bkuehn1952 - excellent rejoinder!
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