Acknowledged By officials at the University of Washington, that since 2001, members of the school's athletic department have suspected a team doctor of distributing "tons" of prescription drugs to Husky athletes. The admission comes on the heels of a state investigation in which Dr. William Scheyer, 76, who had been the doctor for Washington's men's basketball, track, football and softball teams (since '99 he worked exclusively for softball) had his license suspended. According to The News Tribune in Tacoma, a state report alleges that Scheyer—who some athletes called "Dr. Feelgood"—regularly gave stimulants, steroids and other drugs to softball players and team trainers. Investigators say thousands of doses of various drugs were falsely prescribed, and Scheyer has said in a sworn statement that he improperly dispensed prescription drugs. "We need to find out what happened to all those pills and where they went," Washington's vice president of external affairs Norm Arkans told The Seattle Times.
The investigation comes during what has been a hard year for Washington and for athletic director Barbara Hedges. In June, Husky football coach Rick Neuheisel, whom Hedges had plied with a $1 million-a-year contract in a controversial 2000 hiring, was fired for participating in an NCAA basketball pool. And last Saturday the Huskies, who are a disappointing 4-4, held a ceremony to dedicate a statue to former football coach Jim Owens at halftime of a 43-23 loss to USC. The event was protested by the NAACP, which says Owens was guilty of racism during his tenure (1957 to '74). In 1969 Owens suspended four black players for refusing to pledge loyalty to him; all of Washington's black players boycotted the next game. Said Owens at the ceremony, "To my players, I thank them and apologize for any hurt they may feel."
"It's been a hard year," Hedges told SI, "but you have to keep it in perspective. We have positive stories too, and those keep you going."