Former Colts and Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, whose name undoubtedly will continue to surface from time to time for NFL jobs, has taken a new NFL job.
But not the kind of job for which his name will continue to surface.
The league has announced that Dungy will lead a new Player Advisory Forum, which will involve a regular series of meetings in NFL cities with current players.
It’s an evolution of the Player Advisory Council, which Commissioner Roger Goodell launched in 2006.
The Player Advisory Forum is aimed at providing input to Goodell on policies, programs, and other issues that affect the lives of players on and off the field, such as health and safety, personal conduct, game rules and procedures, career transition, and player development.
continue to be an invaluable resource in providing direction and insight into a
wide range of programs and policies,” Goodell said in a release. “Tony’s experience and expertise in working with players makes him
an ideal leader of the Player Advisory Forum and we appreciate his willingness
to take on this important role.”
organize the meetings, identify the player attendees, and develop a list of
topics for discussion. Goodell will attend the meetings and the
NFL Players Association has been invited to send a representative.
Look for the NFLPA to accept the invitation, given that this program is being launched at a time when the union collectively is telling the league what the players want. Absent union representation, there’s a chance that the players who participate in the meetings will stray off message.
And some might wonder whether the league is expanding the program now as a subtle way of softening the players’ willingness to vote “no” on the last, best offer that the owners eventually make on a new labor deal. Regardless of the motivation, the willingness of the league to listen to the players is nothing but good — and good communications go a long way toward achieving and maintaining labor peace. And that’s a positive for the league, the players, and those of us who follow the sport.