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Report: Players convicted of weapons or domestic offenses barred from combine, draft

Troy Vincent, Rick Smith AP

An NFL policy change will bar players with convictions for domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons offenses from attending the league’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis.

USA Today reported Monday night that teams were informed of this policy change in a memo from NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent in late January. In the memo, Vincent wrote that players would be barred from “any league-related event” if a background check turns up a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Those players would also be prevented from attending the draft.

Players that refuse to submit to a background check will also be uninvited.

The new rule would have applied last year to Frank Clark, who ended up being a second-round pick of the Seahawks. Clark pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after an arrest for a domestic violence incident that led to his dismissal from the Michigan football team.

“It is important for us to remain strongly committed to league values as we demonstrate to our fans, future players, coaches, general managers, and others who support our game that character matters,” Vincent wrote.

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45 Responses to “Report: Players convicted of weapons or domestic offenses barred from combine, draft”
  1. mrheavyhustle says: Feb 9, 2016 12:52 AM

    They’re barred from draft combine and such but not barred from Jerry World i’m sure. He’s looking at this as a golden opportunity SMH

  2. RavenzGunnerz says: Feb 9, 2016 12:54 AM

    Well. Unless if you ban them completely from the NFL then the Bengals will become a dynasty

  3. ebdug says: Feb 9, 2016 1:22 AM

    If character mattered the NFL would have a different commissioner.

    If the NFL wants to ban players from these manufactured TV events I don’t have a problem with it. They can hire alterboys to jump around in shorts for all I care.

    If they want to keep the athletes from playing then I have a problem. As I’ve said all along, if they ain’t in jail, put ’em on the field.

  4. johnteedee says: Feb 9, 2016 1:36 AM

    A good step for cleaning up the NFL. Bengals won’t know who to draft.

  5. sunnyd89 says: Feb 9, 2016 1:38 AM

    Ole’ Mettenberger is lucky this rule didn’t exist when he was drafted…

  6. satchseven says: Feb 9, 2016 1:46 AM

    just setting these guys to get set up and shook down. you will have girls lying big time now.

  7. kelsey59 says: Feb 9, 2016 2:08 AM

    They will just have private workouts.

  8. purpleandgoldforever says: Feb 9, 2016 2:29 AM

    Players don’t attend the draft for a variety of reasons, this just becomes another.

    Commit any type of domestic abuse/weapons charge and you automatically remain undrafted would send a far better message

  9. thisdamnbox says: Feb 9, 2016 3:07 AM

    It’s about time…

  10. Hu3m4n says: Feb 9, 2016 3:27 AM

    Ok.

    So who exactly will be excluded from the combine because of this new rule?

  11. dabears2485 says: Feb 9, 2016 4:16 AM

    Does the public nature of the league exempt it from equal opportunity rights? I don’t disagree with the policy, but I am curious if it’s legal.

  12. endzone says: Feb 9, 2016 4:24 AM

    Well then that just saves the NFL scouts time. Skip the college “middlemen” and go straight to the prison parolee networking system.

  13. randomguy9999 says: Feb 9, 2016 4:47 AM

    it’s about time the NFL stopped the hoodlum train

  14. screamingsheep69 says: Feb 9, 2016 5:27 AM

    Could cut the combine to 1 day if they included drug charges.

  15. floratiotime says: Feb 9, 2016 5:35 AM

    So they just sign directly with Dallas?

  16. boobsanders says: Feb 9, 2016 5:39 AM

    Suffer a concussion, get forced back on the field. Then they talk about “league values”.

  17. nwhawkhater says: Feb 9, 2016 5:47 AM

    But can still make millions….

  18. margoadams says: Feb 9, 2016 5:51 AM

    Is that a picture of Troy Vincent or someone who ate Troy Vincent?

  19. scotthochsdramaticweightgain1 says: Feb 9, 2016 6:02 AM

    Can they also ban players who shy away from jumping on a fumble in the Super Bowl?

  20. edukator4 says: Feb 9, 2016 6:32 AM

    Does the public nature of the league exempt it from equal opportunity rights? I don’t disagree with the policy, but I am curious if it’s legal.

    ________________________________________________

    invite only, theres nothing about equal opportunity, or anyone could go to the combine

  21. buckynd13 says: Feb 9, 2016 6:36 AM

    So I guess there won’t be anyone there..

  22. shlort says: Feb 9, 2016 7:00 AM

    They should ban these players from the league, period. Also, of any player has gang affiliation, no NFL for them. The NFL doesn’t really care about drugs. If they did, the testing wouldn’t be done on a schedule. It is funny, they let these guys know when the test will be, and they still fail it.

  23. letsgolos says: Feb 9, 2016 7:01 AM

    The union is gonna make it tough to add restrictions to current players so the NFL has to do it to the guys who aren’t there yet. Like when the rookie wage scale was set in place, etc.

  24. tropicpurple says: Feb 9, 2016 7:11 AM

    Who’s left?

  25. qball59 says: Feb 9, 2016 7:24 AM

    BFD. If a guy can play, teams will just work him out privately, or go to his school’s Pro Day.

    As for the draft, more and more players are declining the opportunity to participate in free publicity for the league.

    Bottom line is that this new policy is just a PR move, like almost everything else 345 Park Ave does nowadays…

  26. iammrbinky says: Feb 9, 2016 7:26 AM

    Banned from the combine? How about banning them from making millions of dollars playing in the NFL.

  27. bartpkelly says: Feb 9, 2016 7:57 AM

    So they still enter the draft, they just don’t show up at it. You don’t want these players being able to sign with whoever they want.

  28. suncawy says: Feb 9, 2016 8:01 AM

    So, what would’ve happen with Jameis Winston ?I’m not sure he was “convicted”, but he was accused.

  29. sidepull says: Feb 9, 2016 8:08 AM

    Dont matter Jerry Jones will be calling them class acts as he signs them.

  30. dretwann says: Feb 9, 2016 8:14 AM

    There are already a limited number of NFL ready players as is. You begin with artificial limits due to non-football issues and you just water down the quality of the product on the field. I think too much is made of a kids poor decision making during school years. If you think this is gonna stop them from making these decisions, you are laughable. I mean, you’d think the prospect of a prison cell would be a deterrent but alas they happen anyway. This is no different.

    I don’t care what you do outside of the stadium. Your personal life and it’s progress or destruction is your business. I only care about the sacks you make or avoid, the touch downs you catch, throw, or intercept, the runs you break loose or stuff. This isn’t politically correct for sure but I don’t care. It’s football!

  31. jkulha86 says: Feb 9, 2016 8:14 AM

    This is a step in the right direction

  32. bythebay15 says: Feb 9, 2016 8:24 AM

    1) NFLPA really needs to be all over this (which probably means they won’t be).

    2) Blatant “check the box” disenfranchisement of young players,

    3) Potentially undermines objective of the rookie pool (which hurts the league, actually).

    Troy, did you forget to get approval from the Commish or Lieweke?

  33. spartyistheclassofthenationinfootballandbasketball says: Feb 9, 2016 8:36 AM

    Not surprisingly there are a lot of very classless wolverqueens out there. Taylor Lewan is the next one that comes to mind but it’s a long list.

  34. steelerben says: Feb 9, 2016 9:29 AM

    Banning them from the combine and draft just means that they are free agents straight out of college. The initial contract won’t be great, but it is only three years and then they can restructure it however they want. So, if you are a consensus number one draft pick, but you don’t want to play for the team that might pick you first, can you go out and get yourself charged with something that will be dismissed in due time then sign with the team you ACTUALLY want to play for?

  35. wrongowright says: Feb 9, 2016 9:43 AM

    Just putting a ribbon on the pig.

  36. bassplucker says: Feb 9, 2016 9:48 AM

    Banning them from the combine and draft just means that they are free agents straight out of college.
    ————————–
    The article doesn’t say they can’t be drafted. It says they can’t ATTEND the draft. So, while this is a step in the right direction, it’s really just league window dressing and not a huge incentive for draft prospects to behave like civilized human beings.

  37. underdog518 says: Feb 9, 2016 9:49 AM

    steelerben – the ban is for ATTENDING the draft, not getting drafted.

  38. whatevnfl says: Feb 9, 2016 9:58 AM

    You would think that players who have a conviction would be the ones teams would have the most questions for… at the combine.

  39. dsoapes says: Feb 9, 2016 10:46 AM

    Clark pleaded guilty to persistent disorderly conduct on the 2014 incident, but was not convicted of DV. That doesn’t make him a better person, but he would have been eligible for the combine under the new rules.

  40. steelerben says: Feb 9, 2016 10:49 AM

    bassplucker says:
    Feb 9, 2016 9:48 AM
    Banning them from the combine and draft just means that they are free agents straight out of college.
    ————————–
    The article doesn’t say they can’t be drafted. It says they can’t ATTEND the draft. So, while this is a step in the right direction, it’s really just league window dressing and not a huge incentive for draft prospects to behave like civilized human beings.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I see. I misunderstood. Yeah, then this basically means nothing other than teams get some minor bad press from bringing kids with a history in for a team visit. Yeah, nothing but a PR move.

  41. basedrum777 says: Feb 9, 2016 11:04 AM

    I thought they were implying that they would be banned from being drafted. Would’ve been a better answer.

  42. cfos00 says: Feb 9, 2016 11:19 AM

    Way to slap a band aid on a heart attack. This won’t change a thing about where the ‘risky character’ guys will get drafted, and they’ll still get paid. They’ll just have private workouts on campus. This is just a PR move that doesn’t do a thing otherwise.

  43. angrylionsfan says: Feb 9, 2016 11:43 AM

    As good as this idea sounds, it just means that when it comes to blue chip prospects their colleges and the booster clubs will just try harder to influence the police and court system to let these kids slide if they get in trouble. If sexual assault and domestic abuse charges were hard to prosecute already, it will be even harder to pin that to elite athletes because there will be even more at stake.

  44. Emmanuel Goldstein says: Feb 9, 2016 2:19 PM

    WOW. Judging by these comments it’s pretty clear that the NFL’s public relations department actually pulled one over on the American public. It seems clear that people don’t understand what this means. The NFL is banning the felons and players with misdemeanor convictions from ATTENDING league events. The NFL is NOT banning them from being drafted. The NFL is saying they just don’t want them there on prom (draft) night.

    This is another example of the NFL doing as little as possible in order to appear as if they care about the issue of domestic violence. If the NFL actually cared about the issue, they would not allow felons be apart of their league. It’s as simple as that. Banning misdemeanors and felons from stupid draft day events is not going to change anything.

  45. eyeamlothar says: Feb 10, 2016 6:30 PM

    Would Frank Clark really have affected by this policy? It states that players with a felony or misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons offenses are banned from the events.

    Clark plead guilty to Disorderly Conduct.

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