NFL should require teams to record all Scouting Combine interviews


At the Scouting Combine, more than 300 prospects find themselves facing questions from 32 prospective employers. And no matter how many times the NFL expresses disapproval of questions posed by specific teams to specific players, stories still emerge regarding inappropriate questions.

As mentioned earlier in the evening, LSU running back Derrius Guice said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that a team asked Guice if he likes men. But that wasn’t all of it.

Here’s the full quote from Guice: “Some people really try to get in your head, man, and really just test your reaction and see what your reaction is going to be. I’d go in one room and a team would ask me, ‘Do I like men?’ just to see my reaction. They’d try to bring up one of my family members or somebody and tell me, ‘Hey, man, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?’ Just random stuff like that, man, to see how you respond. Even though I know those things aren’t true and they know those things aren’t true, they’ll still hit you with it to see how you’ll react to it.”

The desire to stir a reaction — presumably to get past the pre-programmed responses that players are coached to provide — doesn’t justify asking inappropriate questions. For Guice, he faced not only an inappropriate question about sexuality but also a reprise of the question that once was notoriously posed to receiver Dez Bryant.

If teams can’t be trusted to not ask inappropriate questions, the NFL should require all teams to record all interactions between all teams and all prospects. That way, there can be no ambiguity regarding what was and wasn’t said, and there can be no ability to escape accountability when lines are crossed.

19 responses to “NFL should require teams to record all Scouting Combine interviews

  1. Well I’m not the radical type but if someone tells me they think my mom sells herself, I would ask them if they felt safe in that room with me having said that… the sane response to that would be no.

  2. Let’s not just stop there, let’s just take it to where this is going to end. All players should have to where a mic during games so no unwanted comments go unpunished.

  3. I love the irony of the media complaining about NFL teams asking questions aimed at getting a rise out of players.

    The reason it is necessary is because they are trying to find the players who will not take the bait when the media does the exact same thing.

    Want to understand, go to Youtube and watch the DEA Interview Scene from the movie Deep Cover

  4. I don’t believe he was asked those questions. And since he doesn’t name the team/teams, you would need to look at the tapes of every team that interviewed him.

  5. Hmmm. When I heard earlier that he had been asked if he likes men I was thinking the NFL should identify and punish that team. But hearing the full context in ths article I suddenly think it might make sense. This sounds like the team did not care either way how he answered (so no discrimination is being practiced) but rather how he took being asked. His full statement about the sort of things the teams drop on a guy and why does make sense given the environment he is about to go into. He will get questions, suggestions, insults, even some verbal threats along those lines on the field as opponents try to get into his head. Thats a regular thing that goes on down there. What the team is looking for is who can remain cool in the midst of all that and stay focused on the game. And thats actually a valid and important thing to learn about the player. If you are still thinking you want to downvote this idea give thought to how you respond and judge a player who does lose cool on the field and subsequentlt does something stupid that hurts his team.

    At the same time, I am somewhat surprised that these interviews aren’t being recorded already. At least by the teams.

  6. I agree 100% with Wellman. You’re about to draft, or consider drafting, a young man into the jungle that is the NFL and pay him more money than most of us will see in a lifetime. Why wouldn’t you want to know how he reacts to a stressful situation like asking about his sexuality or how he reacts to insulting his mother? The only thing that surprises me is that we’re even talking about it at all. I’m sure teams have been doing this for years now in their interviewing process.

  7. Players should just get up and walk out of the interview if a team asks inappropriate questions. Tell the team he doesn’t want to work for such a classless organization.

    That’ll stop it.

  8. I think it’s appropriate. The teams need to know who’s going to be calm and who’s a hot-head. Nobody wants a diva or someone who will be starting or getting into fights a lot.

  9. patsardone says:

    I don’t believe he was asked those questions.

    When it comes to that type of accusation the media NEVER questions it. They want it to be true.

  10. Sorry, but merely asking such questions is a violation of privacy. I believe that a) teams should be required to record all combine interviews with players, and b) all questions – both in nature and context they are to be asked within – should be verified by the NFL and NFLPA prior to being asked. Perhaps both parties could identify a neutral who can monitor this.

    Yes, we know that teams are more than likely looking to gauge a player’s response/reaction to such questioning rather than wanting to know the answer, but these are still lines of questioning that if posed by a fellow employee/player, could be considered hostile and a form of discrimination.

  11. It sounds like some of these questions are written by middle school boys. Personally, if somebody asked me questions like that, I would tell them that I didn’t want to work for someone that childish. Do people involved in professional sports never grow up and become professionals? There are so many stories of coaches and executives acting like children that it makes me glad I was never a good enough athlete to be involved with organized sports because I couldn’t stand dealing with people like that.

  12. Put your big boy pants on!!! Baiting and smack talk are prevalent on the field. Like it or not it’s an aspect of the game!!! These guys have been dealing with this since they played “POP Warner”! Any intelligent agent would want to see how a prospect might react. Considering some of the “extracurricular activities” on display on the field last year (and every other) you certainly cant blame the scouts for checking the thickness of a prospects skin.

  13. I’m going to ignore the debate over appropriate/inappropriate and get to the point. Those questions are stupid and unproductive. They ask them because it’s traditional to ask them, not realizing that we’re not in the 1960s anymore and we (should) know a lot more about psychology and human nature than we used to. Do football scouts really know how to judge a player’s reaction? They’re football scouts, not psychologists or psychiatrists. The fact that so many head cases get drafted attests to the fact that this is a story about ignorant people asking ignorant questions for a purpose they don’t really even comprehend. They may be weeding people out, but are they weeding out the types of people they think they are? Probably not.

  14. These kids are in a tough spot. There only 32 teams and limited very limited jobs. Its not like they can tell team to stick it without consequences. In the real world most folks would cross any organization off their wish list of a place to work if an employer asked this type of question. It would at minimum make you question what type of organization they are. With NFL draft hopefuls they just have to grin and take it. Of course if they are good enough they could simply tell team thank you for interview however based on your question I would appreciate that you do not draft me as I do not think we are a good fit. That would take a lot of balls for a 22 year old.

  15. Simpler than taping would be the NFL having a representative in the interviews. If something inappropriate came up they could tell the team that wasn’t an appropriate question and move things along then they could circle around later to either educate teams or reprimand them.

  16. Teams asking players if they are gay should be sued. Fortune 500 companies couldn’t get away with that why does a NFL teams think they can?

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