On April 10, 2007 National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell instituted the NFL Personal Conduct Policy after a rash of arrests by players. With the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, it’s clear that the NFL Personal Conduct Policy is a failure.
The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy was supposed to stymie the tide of misdeeds by local players.
Prior to its creation, NFL players were constantly getting arrested for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. They were also getting arrested for getting into fights that were fueled by alcohol and drugs from partying. Finally, there has even been a death of a player from a drive by shooting that was the result of an altercation from a New Years Day party that he had no part in.
That led to an outcry by NFL fans for the league to do something as they were sick and tired of watching players act like a bunch of college frat boys. Well new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell heard their cry and enacted the personal conduct policy.
Now, don’t get me wrong as the NFL Personal Conduct Policy has stymied some of the arrests, but for the most part it’s been a failure as players are still getting arrested for the exact same things.
One of those players that led to the creation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy was cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones.
Jones most famous incident took place during the 2007 National Basketball Association All-Star weekend. Jones in a strip club decided to make it rain on the stage, but got mad when one of the dancers started to pick-up the money, which started an altercation. Later one of his associates came in and fired shots in the club.
After several more incidents, Jones wound up out of the NFL, but eventually made his way back as he learned his lesson and has been without incident until one recently. That incident was in a bar when he hit a woman after she threw a drink at him.
So, it’s not surprising to me that an NFL player is allegedly involved in a murder and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy is a failure.
The problem is the discipline is not severe enough. The longest length of time that Jones was suspended for was one year and that was after the Las Vegas shooting.
After his one year suspension, Jones was reinstated prior to the 2008 NFL regular season and a little bit over a month later Jones had an incident with his body guard. You think that Jones would have been suspended indefinitely, but that wasn’t the case as he was only suspended for a handful of games.
Another problem is that NFL teams keep picking players that have gang related backgrounds.
Hernandez had prior gang related incidents in his background, but the Patriots still took him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Also, teams constantly pick players with drug problems.
Just this past NFL Draft former LSU Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round. Mathieu didn’t play the entire 2012 college football season as he entered rehab, but was still drafted. The reason is that talent is valued more than character or behavior.
So, until changes are made to change this thinking, NFL Personal Conduct Policy will be a failure.
By: Paul Kasprzak