Kenneth Sims, a defensive tackle from the University of Texas who was the first choice of the New England Patriots in the recent National Football League draft, was one of the nine players whose urinalysis at a tryout camp for 150 college seniors showed traces of cocaine or other drugs, the Boston Globe reported yesterday.
But Sims, in an interview with the Boston Herald-American, called the test results "rather inaccurate," saying he was taking a series of prescribed medications for a broken leg he had suffered in his senior year and for a liver ailment. He denied using any illegal drug.
"That's what must have caused the test results to be positive, because it certainly wasn't cocaine or any other illegal drug. I'd be willing to take that test any-time for anybody," said Sims.
Chuck Sullivan, the Patriots' vice president, said the team tested Sims independently and concluded that he did not have a drug problem.
In other new developments since Don Reese, a former No. 1 draft choice who has played in the NFL since 1974, detailed his problems with cocaine in a story in the June 14 edition of Sports Illustrated and said that the league was turning its back on the problem:
* Dan Reeves, coach of the Broncos, told the Associated Press that the Broncos tested every Denver player in training camp for illegal drugs last season and planned to do so again this season. Reeves' revelation brought an immediate response from the National Football League Players Association that the action was an invasion of privacy and may result in a complaint of an unfair labor practice to be filed by the union.
* Sam Rutigliano, the coach of the Cleveland Browns, said, "I'm sure it's a problem in the NFL in general and I'm sure it's a problem here (in Cleveland) . . . "Let's face it. We can't put our heads in the sand and hope this thing goes away, because it won't."
The Orlando Sentinel reported Friday that nine players of the 150 who attended the tryout camp for the 16-team United Scouting Combine showed traces of cocaine or other illegal drugs, according to urinalyses done as part of complete physical examinations during the three-day camp. The newspaper reported that all nine were drafted by NFL teams.
Ed Garvey, executive director of the NFLPA, said he had spoken with Commissioner Pete Rozelle about the situation and that the union and the league would work together. Gene Upshaw, the union president, said the problem of drug use by players was "a private matter. A player feels that if he turns himself in, he will be persecuted. We have facilities that we can send them to. With cooperation from Commissioner Pete Rozelle and the league, we will get this thing worked out."