04-26-2006, 12:25 AM
The Pioneer Press reports suspended Minnesota Vikings RB Onterrio Smith has been notified by the NFL that he will not be reinstated next month, according to a source close to Smith. Last June, Smith was suspended one year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and he checked himself into a three-month, live-in rehabilitation facility in Massachusetts shortly thereafter. Smith, 25, did not return a phone call seeking couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. The Vikings and the NFL declined comment. "That falls under the confidentiality provisions of the program," league spokesman Greg Aiello said. "His status is unchanged in that he continues to be under suspension." According to NFL policy, "a player suspended under Stage Three (of the substance abuse policy) may apply formally in writing for reinstatement no sooner than 60 days before his one-year anniversary date of the letter so suspending him." The application should include information on the player's treatment, abstinence from substances, involvement with any substances of abuse-related incidents, and arrests and/ or convictions for any criminal activity. "The Commissioner, in his sole discretion, will determine if and when the player will be allowed to return to the NFL," the policy states. "A player's failure to adhere to his Treatment Plan during his banishment will be a significant consideration in the Commissioner's decision of whether to reinstate a player."