Thursday, August 18, 2011

Collusion and Coercion

Doug Farrar writes about the NFL "influencing" Michael Vick to sign with the Pheagles in 2009, when he had offers from Cincinnati and Buffalo. It's an interesting situation. Did the NFL approve Vick to sign with Philly, but not with the Bengals or Bills? That raises important questions about competition and the reserve clause etc, as Farrar points out.

I don't really have anything to say about it, I just wanted to draw attention to Farrar's piece.

Roger Goodell's NFL seems to keep blundering into areas where it shouldn't. Like
the odd decision to suspend Terrelle Pryor for 5 games. Cindy Boren of the WaPo writes about it here. She's right. Why on earth is the NFL suspending Pryor for something that has no bearing on his conduct as an NFL player? Failing to cooperate with an NCAA investigation can't be a violation of NFL rules. And hiring an agent certainly is not. So what the hell?

Boren goes on:

...why not retroactively suspend or fine Reggie Bush for dragging USC into NCAA purgatory? How about the players responsible for the ongoing disaster at North Carolina? Or Bengals rookie WR A.J. Green selling a game-worn jersey? And what about the laundry list of alleged player participants in the scandal at “The U”?
And while we’re at it, why should Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll be permitted to leave a wake of NCAA violations behind at USC and be granted a clean slate in the NFL?
...the NFL is opening a giant can of worms with its decision.
The suspension is arbitrary and just weird. I hope Pryor files a grievance with the union, after he is in the NFL. The suspension should get overturned.


  1. Being cynical, I'd say that these fines/suspensions have to do with keeping future players in line. Mess up/flout the rules in college, and you could be fined/suspended or even overlooked professionally.

    Why Pryor and Bush and not the others is probably the 80-20 rule. Both were highly talented, high profile players who (openly or no) flouted the rules.


  2. I think the NFL REALLY wanted to keep Pryor out of the Supplemental. He didn't qualify as we discussed here earlier. Problem is that it would be difficult to defend in court. I think the suspension was quietly negotiated with Pryor and Rosenhaus as a third option.

    It does open a slippery slope.

  3. It does, though I can see the logic behind it. They're basically saying they don't want to condone kids going to college with the attitude that they can just break the rules, and if they happen to get caught, they'll just run to the NFL and nothing will happen. That logic makes sense to me, but the way it was executed doesn't.


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