SBD/Issue 122/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFL Conduct Policy Seen As Success With 20% Fewer Incidents

NFL Feels Goodell's New
Conduct Policy A Success
One year after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell championed a strengthened personal conduct policy for players, the NFL said that the crackdown has had the "desired effect of serving as a deterrent, plus there's been a trickledown to college football," according to Paul Kuharsky of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello: "Based on what we hear from the players and our clubs, we believe the policy has had a positive impact. Everyone clearly understands what is expected and that we are held to very high standards." Aiello said that the number of incidents dropped 20% "based on the league's comparison of comparable time periods'' -- April 10-December 31 in '06 and '07. In '07, six players were suspended and three were fined under the personal conduct policy. Former Cowboys VP/Player Personnel Gil Brandt said that Goodell's "conduct push is one of the things that will help ensure the NFL doesn't fall out of fashion." While character questions about prospects were "among the most popular'' at the '07 NFL Scouting Combine, behavior was "hardly the primary topic'' at the '08 combine in Indianapolis. NFL Draft prospect Calais Campbell: "You need high-character people you know are going to work hard and show up every day" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/13).

TAMPERING:  In DC, Mark Maske reports Goodell, in a proposal "to crack down on cheating,'' wants the NFL's Competition Committee to look "not only at the large infractions but the comparatively minor violations as well." Goodell, in a two-page memo sent last week to the committee, instructed committee members to "review all of the league's competitive rules, including those that prohibit contact between teams and players under contract to other clubs," a rule that is "generally viewed, it appears, as a no-harm, no-foul arrangement" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/14).

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