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NFL dilemma: When should accused players be sidelined?

NFL dilemma: When should accused players be sidelined?

Among the major issues the NFL is confronting as it delves deeper in the domestic violence problem: When should an accused player be pulled off the field?

After he's been arrested? Charged? Indicted?

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"There are 50 states with 50 different processes for how they proceed on a criminal complaint, not every state even proceeds on indictment and grand jury," Lisa Friel, a special consultant to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, said Wednesday during a break from owners meetings.

"So we wanted to get across to the owners here are the complications of trying to figure out a consistent, transparent place and we got their input on what they think on those issues, that's the beginning spot, when do they come off the field while the case is pending if there's a criminal case, and how should we investigate it, should the NFL be their own internal investigations or continue to rely exclusively on law enforcement which is what it's done for its whole history?"

Friel, vice president of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations division for T&M Protection Resources, was recently hired as one of the advisors helping the league develop and carry out an educational program on matters related to domestic violence and sexual assault.

She said the league expects to have a policy in place before the Super Bowl about when players should be ineligible to play.

“I think our thought process is really moving along, it’s very helpful to get input from all different groups including the owners today,” Friel said. “We’ve got probably another month of groups we’ve set up to talk to and get more input, but I think we’re starting to have some good ideas about the way to go, I would think for sure by the Super Bowl if not before.”

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