SBD/25/Franchises

PATRIOTS PICK PRINCIPLES OVER PETER

     The Patriots released their rights to fifth-round pick
Christian Peter after details of "the extent of his record as a
sex offender" were published in yesterday's BOSTON GLOBE.
According to Patriots Player Personnel Dir Bobby Grier,
information gathered by NFL security "showed conduct our
organization found to be unacceptable."  Grier said they did not
have "complete information" when they made the pick.  Patriots
spokesperson Don Lowery:  "We discovered our own investigation
was terribly, terribly flawed."  Patriots VP of Business
Operations Andy Wasynczuk said the team would review its system
of collecting information on potential draft choices (Ron Borges,
BOSTON GLOBE, 4/25).  Dan Shaughnessy writes, "Give the Patriots
credit.  They were dumb to draft Peter, but at least they didn't
compound their error by being stubborn" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/25).
     PETERED OUT:  Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said after the
draft that he would not have picked Lawrence Phillips because of
his past.  But the team immediately faced questions about Peter,
another Nebraska Cornhusker involved in assaults against women.
The GLOBE reviewed Peter's record.  He faces sentencing May 21
over a third-degree assault charge of grabbing a woman by the
throat; he was suspended from the spring game for attacking a
former Miss Nebraska; and he is named in a federal sex
discrimination suit against the university over an alleged a rape
cover-up (Jim Greenidge, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/24).  Columnist Ellen
McNamara called both Peter and Phillips "thugs who graduated from
a college football program distinguished by its tolerance of
violence off the field, particularly violence against women"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 4/24).  A March 18 Sports Illustrated article also
noted Peter's record (THE DAILY).
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