On Monday, the Associated Press decided to cast a re-vote for its 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in light of winner Brian Cushing's four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. A couple of hours later, Bart Hubbuch of the *New York Post *cited an AP source in saying several voters had already voted for the Texans linebacker a second time.
At least a few of the writers in that camp have come forward to explain their rationale:
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle: I voted for Cushing to win rookie award a second time
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: Cushing vote doesn't change
Vinny DiTrani of The Bergen (N.J.) Record: Brian Cushing doesn't deserve to lose rookie award
Each of the writers notes that Cushing failed a drug test in September, then passed random tests for the remainder of the season and in the offseason.
"As one of the 50 voters, I voted for Cushing last December and that vote stays," Prisco writes. "If Cushing did indeed fail the test, it means he was tested the rest of the season by the league, which means he was clean. He played clean. So he wins the award."
According to multiple reports, the AP has given writers a deadline of noon ET on Wednesday to turn in their new votes. The AP is also re-voting on the outside linebacker position for its All-Pro team, on which Cushing earned second-team honors.
UPDATE (12:56 p.m.): Don Banks of *Sports Illustrated *also said today that he's still voting for Cushing, and that he thinks that the AP's decision to re-vote is wrong. Banks also expects Cushing to win the vote again: "Given that Cushing's original margin over second-place finisher Jairus Byrd of Buffalo was a whopping 39-6, landslide territory, I'd be shocked if there's a new winner this time around."