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Bengals’ NFLPA rep not happy with personal conduct policy bargain

Andrew Whitworth, Frostee Rucker AP

One of the big issues from the weekend, which may have gotten lost in a great slate of games, arose from the deal between the NFL and the NFLPA regarding the manner in which players arrested and/or charged during the lockout would be disciplined, or not, by the league.

Of the 33 players who got into trouble off the field, the NFL and NFLPA agreed that 25 first-time offenders would not be disciplined, but that eight repeat offenders would be subject to fines or suspensions.  The NFLPA has backpedaled, claiming that no specific agreement has been made regarding the eight repeat offenders.

But Bengals running back Cedric Benson, one of the eight repeat offenders, has been suspended three games.  And he has filed a claim against the NFLPA, alleging that the union engaged in unfair labor practices by binding him to an agreement for conduct occurring at a time when there was no union.

As pointed out in the Tuesday one-liners, Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth isn’t pleased with the situation.  Whitworth, who serves as the Bengals’ NFLPA player representative, has two teammates (Benson and cornerback Pacman Jones) who are being potentially hurt by the agreement.

“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me,” Whitworth said, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  “I feel like it’s the wrong decision and I also believe the union let those eight guys down.  I don’t feel like that was fair.  To me, if I was told that was a make or break, I would have said that’s a make or break deal that we were going to sell out eight guys to have an agreement.”

Whitworth said the didn’t know about the agreement until reports emerged last week.

“Now I don’t think that I’m saying them doing stuff is OK but if no one else can get punished they shouldn’t be able to either,” Whitworth said.  “I feel like the eight guys is the problem to me. I don’t feel like they should be left out.  The real problem I have with it is I don’t think they are any different from any other guy who got in trouble during the lockout.”

Whitworth’s position is significant because, as a member of the board of player representatives, Whitworth has a voice in the re-election — or possibly not — of NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, whose contract expires in March 2012.  Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC reported during Sunday night’s Football Night in America that the NFLPA’s Executive Committee was hoping to arrange a conference call with Smith for further discussion and details regarding the agreement that apparently gives the league the ability to discipline Benson and seven other repeat offenders.

Smith has done a very good job of communicating with his constituents, but it could require all of his skills to unruffle feathers regarding the apparent decision to expose eight players to discipline for things happening off the field at a time when the players were locked out.

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16 Responses to “Bengals’ NFLPA rep not happy with personal conduct policy bargain”
  1. tommyf15 says: Sep 27, 2011 8:18 PM

    Bengals running back Cedric Benson, one of the eight repeat offenders, has been suspended three games. And he has filed a claim against the NFLPA, alleging that the union engaged in unfair labor practices by binding him to an agreement for conduct occurring at a time when there was no union.

    And he was absolutely correct in doing so.

    The league conduct policy is subject to collective bargaining. No bargain = the NFL has no power to punish.

  2. favreforever says: Sep 27, 2011 8:30 PM

    They calling it Roger Goodell’s bargain for the devils.

  3. edgarpoe2 says: Sep 27, 2011 8:40 PM

    These players are privileged to be able to earn a lot more in one year than many of their fans earn in a lifetime. How about these grown men start acting like grown men and stay out of trouble. That way they wouldn’t need to appeal anything.

  4. tommyf15 says: Sep 27, 2011 8:51 PM

    edgarpoe2 says:
    These players are privileged to be able to earn a lot more in one year than many of their fans earn in a lifetime.

    That has absolutely nothing to do with anything, Cliche’ Boi.

  5. jpb12 says: Sep 27, 2011 9:05 PM

    Hilarious.
    This lockout clearly affected teh Bengals more than any other team.

    These guys all thought they had a “Get out of Jail Free Card”.

    Thought they had a free roll going there. Turd Watch.

  6. brownsfn says: Sep 27, 2011 10:04 PM

    Here’s a novel idea…STAY THE HELL OUT OF JAIL DUMMIES….

  7. Deb says: Sep 27, 2011 10:16 PM

    @edgarpoe2 …

    The issue isn’t whether these men should stay out of trouble–of course, they should. The issue is that the union doesn’t have the right to sell out eight individual members.

    As far as their behavior is concerned … Goodell has demonstrated repeatedly that he’s not interested in fairly applying the personal conduct policy. Eight men are on that list, but Goodell let several of them–including repeat offenders–walk while targeting Benson. Again, he’s playing favorites and this time the NFLPA is helping him.

  8. r66x says: Sep 27, 2011 10:33 PM

    Benson is right on this. However the NFL will go ahead and suspend him just to flex their muscles…..I hope Benson gets a good lawyer and takes them to the cleaners.

  9. 303bengalguy says: Sep 27, 2011 10:55 PM

    DeSmith will likely go down as one of the worst heads of the NFLPA of all time.

  10. asublimeday says: Sep 28, 2011 3:26 AM

    Cedric should be allowed to fight any ex boyfriend of his he wants during a lockout.

  11. CKL says: Sep 28, 2011 7:39 AM

    I find it interesting that the player reps (or at least this one) appear to have had had no knowledge of this. And if the NFLPA didn’t agree to it how can it be done? Where did the 8 player list come from then?

  12. Topher says: Sep 28, 2011 7:54 AM

    The .eqgue has screwed the pooch here. There were 33 player incidents during the lockout. That demonstrates the problem the NFL has with it’s players behavior.

    By focusing on punishment for the repeat offenders the NFL has given the players a rallying point fro. Which to divert the attention away from the real issue.

    Every parent knows there co es a time when grounding or spanking no longer works and you have to shift tactics to get your point across. The goal isn’t to punish for past behaviors but to keep future behaviors from happening.

  13. klutch14u says: Sep 28, 2011 8:30 AM

    Just so I’m clear… They want the union to protect them for the time they got in trouble during the lockout but they don’t want them negotiating for them because they weren’t a union.

    I mean seriously. There was no union when this occurred. As far as I’m concerned the NFL shouldn’t even have to deal with the NFLPA one bit on this. There was no union at that time. Just hand them the suspensions you want and move along.

  14. rcali says: Sep 28, 2011 11:36 AM

    In the grand scheme of things, this only seems to be a problem for the 8 morons who don’t believe the law applies to them.

  15. cincyalldaway says: Sep 28, 2011 12:23 PM

    klutch14u says:
    Sep 28, 2011 8:30 AM
    Just so I’m clear… They want the union to protect them for the time they got in trouble during the lockout but they don’t want them negotiating for them because they weren’t a union.

    I mean seriously. There was no union when this occurred. As far as I’m concerned the NFL shouldn’t even have to deal with the NFLPA one bit on this. There was no union at that time. Just hand them the suspensions you want and move along.
    ==================================
    Now I’m gonna go slow on this so you can keep up. When these incidents happened, they weren’t employeed by the NFL, period. They should not be punished under NFL rules, when it was the NFL that locked them out. It should be for all players who were in trouble, not just the eight repeat offenders. This is stupid to say the least. You either punish them all or not! Not just a few!

  16. ogre2010 says: Sep 28, 2011 12:58 PM

    Roger Goddell sure is on a power trip!! He must have been pick on by athletes when we has in high school and college.

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