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League monitoring coach-player contact in “various ways”

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Earlier today, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reported that players and assistant coaches have been in regular contact during the lockout, despite clear orders against having such communications.

While tracking down a similar rumor (unconfirmed at this point), relating specifically to the presence of an assistant coach at player-organized workouts, we asked the league whether efforts are being made to actively police the possibility of prohibited contact.

“We are monitoring activities in various ways,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said via e-mail over the weekend.  “Sorry but we are not going into detail.”

Freeman’s report suggests that there are many possible avenues, especially if coaches are using direct messages on Twitter and other electronic methods for which there would be electronic footprints.  The bigger question is whether the league truly wants to catch anyone who is breaking the rules.  Supposedly, violators will be fired with cause, which means without pay.  But what team is going to cut loose a valued member of the staff who is merely trying to help make the team more competitive?

Thus, we think the same hear/see/speak no evil approach that the league typically applies to matters such as tampering will apply here.

If the league office wants to prove us wrong by nailing someone who is violating the rules and insisting that his team fire the coach with cause, we’re fine with that, too.

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24 Responses to “League monitoring coach-player contact in “various ways””
  1. imnice777 says: May 9, 2011 6:06 PM

    So the league is gonna pull the rule book out when they themselves didn’t follow the judges ruling and continued to not allow players access to weight rooms? That’s not hypocritical…

  2. hawkeye6 says: May 9, 2011 6:24 PM

    I would just say “hey, player X, come over the house for a few hours so we can get this contract done, review the playbook, blah blah blah.”

    All these games are just that. Distractions and procrastinations from the real problem: NO CBA

  3. hawkeye6 says: May 9, 2011 6:28 PM

    Or just go online and play Madden 2011 with your players.

  4. profootballwalk says: May 9, 2011 6:28 PM

    ““We are monitoring activities in various ways,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said via e-mail over the weekend. “Sorry but we are not going into detail.”

    In other words – we’d tell you to eff off, but you’re with NBC now, so we are not going to tell you how to eff off in detail.

  5. hobartbaker says: May 9, 2011 6:32 PM

    Most of the monitoring has been done with unmanned surveillance drones due to the high cost of stealth helicopters.

  6. redskinsrt says: May 9, 2011 6:35 PM

    Does the NFL have the authority to access these Twitter, etc accounts? Seems like quite the breach in privacy if they found out that they were communicating through such a medium.

  7. raynman49 says: May 9, 2011 6:41 PM

    All this crap is really getting tiring. I don’t think I’m alone when I say the fans have just about had it. Both sides need to get back to business. Enough!!

  8. gazinkus says: May 9, 2011 6:45 PM

    Let’s see. There is no law prohibiting contact between player and coach – this is just a rule handed down from the League. And, since the League is – in accordance with anti-trust laws – 32 separate businesses who have voluntarily agreed to abide by common rules, it’s a case of the League members not following their own rules.

    What’s the benefit? The League members get to keep their team current with new schemes, get news on player rehab, etc. What’s the detriment? The League isn’t blindly cohesive in their anti-union efforts.

    Big freaking deal.

  9. buffalohogan says: May 9, 2011 7:18 PM

    Remember when Twitter was cool if you were a an 18 year old girl or a porn star or both?

  10. drgreenstreak says: May 9, 2011 7:18 PM

    I doubt the league will attempt to prove anything in the court of media opinion…..

  11. drgreenstreak says: May 9, 2011 7:22 PM

    …..although it does make sense that fomenting distrust among the owners may lead to a more rapid resolution to the lockout.

  12. whatsafairway says: May 9, 2011 7:24 PM

    But that box the coach sent to the players house had little Peggy’s birthday present in it and he called the house 10 times in the last week to wish Peggy a happy birthday!

    It’s beside the point the players daughter is named Jennifer…

  13. realitypolice says: May 9, 2011 7:31 PM

    @gazinkus:

    The “big freaking deal” is that the league is in Federal Court defending their lockout.

    They are, in essence, asking a Federal Court of Appeal to uphold a lockout that they themselves are violating.

    Imagine if you went to court to get a restraining order against your ex and then made contact with said ex by your own choice.

    Courts tend to look down upon that sort of thing, believe it or not.

  14. rad312 says: May 9, 2011 7:35 PM

    Big freaking deal. It takes two parties to engage in discussions, so both the player(s) and the coach.

    PFT….what not enough good litigation discussion so turning your efforts to slinging mud around.?.?.?

    The agents reporting the transgressions about player contact the same agents that accused Gil Brandt of warning the draft hopefuls about not attending the NFLPA* draft event?.?.?

  15. patsfan says: May 9, 2011 8:14 PM

    no doubt when this is all solved, and the league/plaers are trying to make nice with the fans they screwed out of the fun of draft/free-agency and other off-season stuff, they’ll jump right on handing down discipline to players that got themselves arrested, or teams that tampered, or GASP! contacted their players.

    Yep, when they all smile and pretend it didn’t affect the quality of the teams on the field for the first several games, they will be quick to applaud how well the players and coaches adapted to the “Cone of Silence.”

  16. redrocker77 says: May 9, 2011 8:16 PM

    Teams should have full contact with drafted or undrafted players. Until their first contract is signed, they’re civilians, and not part of any union.
    These teams should be giving “civilian” tours of their facilities and weightrooms everyday.
    So sick of this bs! Screw the league!

  17. thefiesty1 says: May 9, 2011 8:39 PM

    There is no way they can police this without singling out specific teams. Then, they will cry foul for not going after everyone. The excuse that “everyone else” does it is true so it doesn’t apply here. We and the league knows they are all doing it.

  18. madenatewell says: May 9, 2011 8:51 PM

    I’ve always wondered how Chris Snee’s household works…he’s married to Tom Coughlin’s daughter…if she says “hey dad told me to tell you…” is that wrong?

  19. fatelvis77 says: May 9, 2011 9:00 PM

    Whew! The league catches assistant coach communicating with a player and that coach gets fired and now no one will (or, worse yet, is allowed to) hire him. Talk about abuse of monopoly power/unreasonable restaint of trade. More triple damages lawsuits come into play. I hate it that I stopped doing antitrust 25 years ago. No monopoly could be stupider than these NFL owners and their lapdog, Goodell.

  20. justanotherdummy says: May 9, 2011 9:13 PM

    I know PFT needs content. I, like many, am hungry for NFL news, and would like the real off-season to start for our favorite team. But it is getting more difficult to maintain interest in this Pandora’s box with no end in sight. I hope for an outbreak of common sense that will enable both sides to come to a fair agreement that is good to the players, teams and the game we all love. I just do not see it happening.

  21. Deb says: May 9, 2011 9:42 PM

    Always thought the hear no/see no/speak no evil symbols were monkeys. But since they’re representing the league and its Big Brother tactics, pigs are more appropriate.

  22. tundey says: May 10, 2011 9:05 AM

    Like I have said before, both sides are making a mockery of this lock out. What’s the incentive for either side to make a deal? Players can avoid all those team mandated OTAs and still be in shape for when the games start in September. Owners can hold out knowing that their teams will be competitive from day 1. At this point, the only parties interested in the lockout are the lawyers. It’s like a couple going through a bitter divorce and still sleeping together while their lawyers fight in court.

  23. thephantomstranger says: May 10, 2011 11:55 AM

    If the league is violating its own lockout by having contact with players, why wouldn’t the players make it public? Wouldn’t that undermine the owners’ position, making it less likely the lockout would be upheld?

  24. elyasm says: May 10, 2011 12:04 PM

    Sounds like a great opportunity for Goodell to crucify Belichick again, I wonder if he will be able to resist the temptation?

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