For now, the Chuck Muncie story is on hold.
The latest episode in the saga of the troubled running back began Saturday, Sept. 8, when he phoned Charger coach Don Coryell to say he wouldn't be on the team's flight to Seattle for the next day's game. Someone had slashed the tires on his $56,000 Porsche, he claimed. (He had used that excuse once before to explain an absence when he was with the Saints.)
When Muncie arrived in Seattle, the Chargers asked that he submit to urinalysis. Muncie, who in 1982 was treated twice for drug and alcohol dependence, refused. On Sept. 10, Coryell traded him to the Dolphins for a No. 2 pick in '85.
It took Muncie four days to get to Miami. The word was, Muncie wanted time to clean out his system. When he finally arrived, he said, "My drug problems are in the past." But an hour later, the trade was off. He had failed his urinalysis. "They found THC and some alcohol in my system," said Muncie. THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, the chief intoxicant in marijuana. The Dolphins have been mum, but the Miami Herald and the News and Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale quoted unnamed Dolphin sources as saying the test showed Muncie had traces of cocaine in his system.
Commissioner Pete Rozelle ordered Muncie to undergo a complete drug evaluation and comply with any prescribed treatment—or be suspended.
Said one Charger, "Chuck was a pain in the ass. All his lies and excuses. He hasn't practiced three days in his life. But we overlooked all of it because on Sundays he was brilliant."
The day after Muncie left, Shula, desperate for a runner, tried out Rickey Young, 31, a nine-year veteran cut by the Vikings in August. Young also flunked his urinalysis. Said Shula, "Very disturbing."