SBD/Issue 51/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Goodell Wants Players' Input On Issues Through Advisory Forum

Goodell Selects Tony Dungy To Head 
Player Advisory Forum
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on NBC's "Football Night In America" last night to talk about the newly-formed Player Advisory Forum, which will be headed by Tony Dungy. Goodell said, “We are always seeking player input on a variety of matters, both on and off the field. … Tony and I have been talking about how input has been so valuable to the league, and we agreed we could do more. Tony was gracious enough to give us his time and his resources to be able to get the right kind of players in a room and give us that kind of feedback.” Goodell said he hired Dungy for the position because he has a “great credibility with the players and with the NFL in general.” Dungy: “One of the things that we used to say when I was playing -- ‘If Commissioner Rozelle knew this, I wish I could get this message to him.’ I think it’s great when the players can do that.” NBC’s Dan Patrick noted Peter King talked to officials with the NFLPA, and they “wondered about the timing of this. That you’re aligning yourself with some players as maybe a backdoor way of currying favor with them.” Goodell: “I’m a commissioner for everybody in the NFL. That includes the players, the coaches, the owners and the fans. I’ve always reached out to players. That’s not what this is all about, and I’ve invited them if they want to come in. I just met with two teams this week. I regularly seek the input of the players. My record’s clear on that one, and I’m going to continue on that one regardless of the negotiations” (“Football Night In America,” NBC, 11/22).

TOO LATE IN THE GAME: CBS’ Charley Casserly reported prior to the recent four-game suspensions of Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe and Eagles DB Joselio Hanson, there were discussions between the NFL and the NFLPA “about reducing what is presently a four-game suspension for diuretics to something less than that.” Casserly: “Perhaps two games, perhaps a fine, perhaps a warning or any combinations of those things.” However, the union “did not want to agree to a lesser penalty because they still are opposed to the commissioner having full disciplinary authority. And they did not want to negotiate outside of the context of the negotiations that are going on right now on this whole CBA” (“The NFL Today,” CBS, 11/22).

EMPHASIS ON WRONG BOWL? CBS’ Casserly also reported the NFL has sent a letter to teams telling them while players voted to the Pro Bowl from the two clubs playing in the Super Bowl will not participate in the game, it is "essential that they participate in the Pro Bowl player introductions." The Pro Bowl is being held the week before the Super Bowl this season, and Casserly said, "If you want to have a full practice at your facility the Monday before the Super Bowl, which teams have done, ... you’re not going to have all your players there for practice. How do you have a practice the week before the Super Bowl without all your players there? There’s a problem with that." A team's routine and on-field chemistry "the week of the Super Bowl should take precedence over promoting the Pro Bowl” (“The NFL Today,” CBS, 11/22).

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