White never appeared on NFL drug test list

Updated: April 29, 2006, 11:29 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The agent for LenDale White, whose draft stock has already plummeted because of his inability to record a 40-yard dash time for scouts, adamantly denied on Saturday a published report that the Southern California tailback had failed an NFL drug test.

"We are confident that LenDale did not fail an NFL drug test," said agent Eugene Parker. "It's simply not true."

The denial is hardly surprising, given the source, and the fact White has already been adversely affected by the fact teams do not have a complete assessment on him, since he never finished a full workout.

The lone official function at which an NFL drug test is administered is the league scouting combine in Indianapolis. Last week, teams received a report citing just two prospects for this year's draft, LSU defensive tackle Claude Wroten and Missouri State kicker Jon Scifres, as having tested positive at the combine in late February.

Four general managers or personnel directors contacted by ESPN.com on Friday and Saturday said there was no follow-up letter citing additional positive tests. All four said they were unfamiliar with any league-administered tests that White could have failed.

Teams are not permitted to conduct drug screenings on players when they bring them to their complexes for individual pre-draft meetings. That said, a few franchises skirt the rules and do conduct such tests. Those teams, though, would have no reason, given the competitive nature of the draft, to share the results.

Once projected as a possible top 10 selection but now perhaps sliding out of the first round entirely, White had individual visits with only two teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys.

White did not run a 40-yard dash at the combine sessions and then, citing a hamstring injury, did not run at the USC pro day workouts on April 2.

Two weeks ago, an MRI examination revealed that White had a moderate tear of his right hamstring and would need four to five weeks of rehabilitation before he could run. Teams are generally reluctant to invest in a prospect without a full workup on him, and a 40-yard time is regarded as a significant part of that puzzle.

In his three college seasons, White carried 541 times for 3,159 yards and 52 touchdowns. He also added 31 receptions for 331 yards and five touchdowns. A strong runner between the tackles and bullish when he got into the secondary, he ran for more than 1,000 yards in both 2004 and 2005 and was a perfect complement to the more elusive Reggie Bush.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.