Monday, November 14, 2005
Former Buccaneer lineman killed
Steve Courson the former Buccaneers and Steelers' guard, was killed Thursday when a tree he was cutting fell on him.
Steve Courson played for the Steelers from 1978 as a free agent guard from South Carolina. He started more than half of the Steelers' games before he was traded to Tampa Bay in 1984, where he played another two seasons before being waived. He ended his career after the 1985 season, having played on the Steelers' Super Bowl championship teams in 1978 and 1979.
Steve Courson is best known for being the first NFL player to come forward and testify about the use of steroids in the NFL. Courson blamed his heart condition on his own steroid abuse. He went public with his steroid use in 1985 and was cut by Tampa Bay the next season.
Courson played college football at South Carolina from 1973 to 1977.
Here is the associated press news article about him.
Steve Courson, 50, N.F.L. Player Who Acknowledged Steroid Use, Is Dead
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 11, 2005
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 10 (AP) - Steve Courson, the former offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers who developed a heart problem after becoming one of the first National Football League players to acknowledge using steroids, was killed Thursday when a tree he was cutting fell on him.
Courson, 50, was using a chain saw to cut down a 44-foot tall dead tree with a circumference of 5 feet when it fell on him, according to the state police. The incident happened around 1 p.m. at his home in Henry Clay Township, Fayette County. Roger Victor, an investigator for the Fayette County coroner, said Courson was apparently trying move his dog out of the way of the tree.
"The wind was blowing, the tree snapped and it fell on him and his dog," Mr. Victor said. The dog was taken to a veterinarian.
Courson made the Steelers in 1978 as a guard from the University of South Carolina. He started more than half the Steelers' games and played on the championship teams in 1978 and 1979 before he was traded in 1984 to Tampa Bay. He ended his career after the 1985 season.
A native of Gettysburg, Pa., Courson played at South Carolina from 1973 to 1977. He said that he first used steroids there at age 18.
Courson was an early outspoken opponent of steroid use in the N.F.L. He blamed steroids for a heart condition that he said landed him on a transplant list for four years. He credited diet and exercise with reversing the condition.
He went public with his steroid use in 1985 and was cut by Tampa Bay the next season. He also criticized the N.F.L.'s steroids-testing program, which began a year after he retired. He testified about steroids use before Congress last spring.
"It's as much drug abuse to take steroids as heroin or cocaine," Courson said in 1990. "When most people imagine drug abusers, their thoughts are of street people living in the gutter. Realistically, these people can't afford drugs, but professional athletes and middle- and upper-class teenagers can."