University of South Carolina steroid scandal

In October 1988, Sports Illustrated published a lengthy article on alleged steroid abuse in the football program at the University of South Carolina. The article, titled "The Nightmare of Steroids" and written by University of South Carolina football player Tommy Chaikin in collaboration with Sports Illustrated's Rick Telander, alleged the widespread use of steroids in the football program at the school.[1] Following the article, a federal grand jury indicted four University of South Carolina football coaches in connection with steroid distribution to players.[2] Three of the coaches pleaded guilty in plea-bargain arrangements[3] and the fourth was acquitted.[4] The episode was listed among "some of college football's biggest scandals" by sports reporter Tom Weir of USA Today.[5]

"The Nightmare of Steroids"

"The Nightmare of Steroids"[1] was featured in the October 24, 1988 issue of Sports Illustrated. The article begins with Tommy Chaikin, a defensive lineman on the University of South Carolina football team, vividly narrating his steroid-induced experiences the day before the annual South Carolina-Clemson football game in 1987. In his own words, Chaikin describes himself sitting in his dorm room on the USC campus with a loaded handgun pressed to his chin. The story continues in stream of consciousness fashion to describe how he had arrived at the brink of suicide, and includes other significant factors in his three-year odyssey with steroids including peer pressure, the physical and mental effects of the drugs on himself, the coaches he alleged were involved, and his eventual rescue by his father. In the article, Chaikin alleges that half the USC football team was using steroids, however this claim was never substantiated.

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