Goodell: If Colts hadn’t suspended Tressel, I would have


When the Indianapolis Colts announced that new consultant Jim Tressel would have to sit out the team’s first six games, they made it sound like that was a mutual decision between Tressel and the team. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that if they hadn’t reached that mutual decision, he would have made the decision for them.

Appearing on ESPN Radio today, Goodell said that if the Colts didn’t sit Tressel down at the start of the season, Goodell would have done it himself.

“I didn’t have to get to that point,” he said. “But I think it was clear that if they did not take an appropriate action then I would have taken action.”

The question is, What constitutes an appropriate action? Tressel broke NCAA rules and lost his job as head coach at Ohio state, but when did it become the NFL’s job to punish people for breaking NCAA rules?

The answer to that question is that it became the NFL’s job when the NFL decided to suspend Tressel’s old quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, for the first five games of this season — the same number of games Pryor was initially suspended for the start of Ohio State’s season, before he ultimately left Ohio State and entered the NFL’s supplemental draft.

Once the NFL suspended Pryor, it would have been unseemly not to suspend Tressel. But suspending Tressel would also create a messy precedent: Does the NFL really want to get into the business of suspending coaches who leave colleges with an NCAA mess in their wakes?

As far as Goodell is concerned, the Colts’ decision to bench Tressel for six games means he won’t have to set any precedent.

“They made a determination not to allow him to start coaching until Week 7 and I support that decision,” Goodell said. “I think it’s a wise one.”

The question is whether Goodell will make the same decision the next time such a situation arises.

73 responses to “Goodell: If Colts hadn’t suspended Tressel, I would have

  1. Well I guess it’s time to suspend every other Miami player from the recent scandal then.
    What about Reggie Bush?

  2. the NFL shouldnt serve as a safehaven for these guys but theres got to be more communication between the NCAA and NFL to deal with this before it really gets out of hand.

  3. the article’s angle is all wrong. Under personal conduct policy anyone coming into the NFL having a negative background is affecting the NFL’s image, thus they are eligible for suspension. Goodell is misunderstood at times and this is one time when I actually agree with him for suspending those who bring a negative image into the NFL and not just suspending those who are already in the NFL when transgressions take place.

  4. Isn’t that just straight up illegal in the real world? If my employer said I am suspended for a week without pay because I didn’t give proper notice in leaving my last job, can’t I sue him?

  5. “I KEEPS IT REAL” – Roger Goodell

    I must be the only one that likes Goodell’s new practice of punishing college players/coaches who leave the college ranks without serving their sentences.

  6. I don’t get it. If the Commish doesn’t want Tressel in the league, why doesn’t he ban him? What’s the point of a stupid suspension from a nothing job for something he did before while working somewhere else?

  7. I really think Goodell just wants to be beat out the NHL Commish Bettman as the most hated commissioner in all of sports. It’s BS if he wants us to think he had no hand in what the Colts did for suspending Tressel. Goodell has slowly made the game worse and needs to resign.

  8. So Pete Carroll should be suspended the next five years?

    Will be interesting now that a precedent has been set.

  9. Exactly, @medtxpack.

    I have no problem with the suspension of Pryor, who went to the NFL to avoid getting suspended.

    But wasn’t Tressel fired? I’m not sure that same standard should apply.

    Now, Pete Carroll, on the other hand…

  10. Goodell is bad for the NFL .. He is too power crazy.. it went to his head… and he thinks he runs the world.. He’s worse than Baseball’s Refs he wants the spotlight.. he wants it all about him.. instead of the game.. The NFL has no Legal right to Suspend NCAA violations..

    If the NCAA has influence on the NFL then the NFL need to push their influence to the NCAA and have them create a playoff system.. this is going to get nasty in the future.. Goodell needs to be replaced, he is horrible..

  11. This is too much. Suspend a player for harming the draft, that’s one thing but what grounds would he have to suspend a coach and why didn’t he suspend Carroll?

  12. The tail doesn’t wag the dog. The NFL is the Big Dog and the NCAA is the tail right next to the dog’s butthole. Roger Goodell needs to sack up and tell the NCAA to get bent. The NFL is not the judicial branch of the NCAA.

  13. Why does Roger Goodell now care what these individuals do in college? Like other posters have pointed out, he didn’t give two poops about Reggie Bush, Pete Carroll, and the scandal at USC. Why doesn’t he take away 6 roster spots away from the Seahawks (USC had 10 scholarships taken away per year, roughly 11% of the 85-limit, equivalent to 6 roster spots on a 53-man roster)?

  14. scudbot says:
    Sep 6, 2011 12:42 PM
    I don’t get it. If the Commish doesn’t want Tressel in the league, why doesn’t he ban him? What’s the point of a stupid suspension from a nothing job for something he did before while working somewhere else?

    Because he’s going to become a Head Coach at some point.

  15. He would’ve, but anyone know that when you’re hired by an NFL team paper work has to clear through the league office first. So he new Tressel was getting hired ahead of time and did nothing then. So Goodell is full of it, if he would’ve suspended Tressel, he would’ve done it during the process of his hiring, not pressure the Colts to suspend him and then come out and say “I would’ve”; would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. Unfortunately neither of the 3 happened.

    So Goodell, you’re just full of it.

  16. I’m so sick and tired of Roger Goodell!

    I wish the league would fire him ASAP.

    He is a big fat lire who speaks in half truths.

    The league has gotten much worse since he has been the commish…it’s too bad they keep making more and more money.

    With that said, I will NEVER spend 1 red cent on anything connected to the NFL.

    If you are a sponsor of the NFL I will try to avoid your brands to the best of my ability!

  17. I thought Goodell said he wasn’t setting a predecent when he suspended Pryor? I’m confused.

  18. The Colts are happy to have this roadbump out of the way in-time for Tressel to become the interim head coach later this year, and the official head coach next year.

  19. medtxpack says: Sep 6, 2011 12:41 PM

    the NFL shouldnt serve as a safehaven for these guys but theres got to be more communication between the NCAA and NFL to deal with this before it really gets out of hand.

    A safe haven? Tressel lost a 4 million dollars a year job. I hardly think he is getting over on anybody. This is not grade school. You are saying that one employer should be able to discipline an employee for something that happened when said employee wasn’t employed by said employer. That’s just stupid. What’s next? A five game suspension from the NFL for getting drunk at a frat party as a college freshman?
    As a side note, I would have taken your comment a little more seriously had you used correct grammar and punctuation.

  20. Please. Who is Goodell trying to kid?

    He said nothing until AFTER he was called out by media, players, and former players after he nailed Pryor.

    Goodell only acts after the media tells him what he should do.

    Still waiting to find out how Brandon Marshall wasn’t subject to PCP discipline because he wasn’t charged with a crime, yet the uncharged Ben Roethlisberger was.

    Don’t they play in the same league?

    Goodell is corrupt. He’s ruining this game.

  21. The owners better reign this egomaniac in-he is out of control in quest for power.

    What’s next?

    My guess is that he is putting on this charade for the networks ($$$) and the advertisers/sponsors ($$$).

    Its all $$$$

    The NFL is just like ESPN. Its all a highly practiced puppet show. They will do nothing to risk losing ad $.

  22. Every fan in every stadium every week needs to chant “G.M.G!” (Goodell must go!) until the owners get sick of it and vote him out of office. Otherwise, they’ll be playing flag football every week in London.

  23. Pretty slick. Tressel can serve his suspension now while serving in this optional position, rather than face it later when he might have a real coaching position.

  24. If the NFL wants to keep it’s good relationship with the NCAA, then yes it needs to suspend college coaches who jump to the NFL when they get busted for infractions.

  25. Goodell has zero credibility. What about Bush, Carroll and all the other college players who not only violated NCAA rules, but some who broke the law?

    I hope Pryor wins.

  26. Eric Dickerson and Craig James were part of the teams that caused SMU to receive the NCAA death penalty. Do they get suspended retroactively? Can James still work for ESPN?

  27. kellyb9 says: “NFL has no business suspending player or coaches for NCAA violations.”

    On the surface of it, this is true. But things are rarely as simple as we would like. There is symbiotic relationship between the NFL and the NCAA: College football provides the NFL with a feeder system of athletes that the league doesn’t have to fund or administrate. The NFL provides the NCAA and its component schools with the incentive to induce those athletes to play football at the college level.

    In a good business relationship, it is incumbent on the participants to protect the interests of their partner, or all suffer. Currently, the NCAA lacks an effective “stick” to ensure that the athletes who play under its auspices follow the rules. The NCAA can retroactively punish an athletic program for violations, but that punishment doesn’t — can’t — have an effect on those who are no longer part of that program.

    If “jumping to the NFL” is no longer a 100% certain shield from the consequences of rules violations, those high-level athletes (and coaches) who could be tempted to bend the rules might think twice about doing so.

    These suspensions by the League and/or the teams are being done to protect the relationship with the NCAA. And that is within the NFL’s “business”.

  28. I somewhat agree with you, sickpuppyz. However, Goodell has been getting on my nerves with his double talk and hypocrisy. Goodell took it upon himself to delay Pryor’s admittance into the NFL and then suspends him. Yet, he waited for INDY to impose their own punishment on Tressell.

    Why didn’t he just come out and suspend Tressell once he got word that INDY hired him?

    If I were Pryor’s attorney, I’d continue with the appeal and cite that Pete Carrol was allowed into the NFL without any suspension or fine or punishment whatsoever.

  29. After the dolts fire Caldwell this year because they don’t make the playoffs, tressel becomes the new HC. A perfect match for their garbage owner and fair weather fans

  30. I believe Goodell.
    If there is one thing Goodell excels at, it is handing out suspensions.

  31. kingmj4891 says:
    Sep 6, 2011 12:34 PM
    Everyone going to WEEK ONE bring a sign that says Resign Goodell your ruining football.

    I don’t think that sign will help to show fans are better than Goodell, as it should say “you’re.”

  32. If the Colts want to suspend Tressel from something he did in college, I can understand that, though I’m surprised if Tressel would have agreed to that beforehand.

    However, for the NFL to suspend Tressel because of NCAA violations is outside the realm of the NFL’s jurisdiction. Tressel’s violations were committed against the NCAA and Ohio State, not the NFL. Yes, the NFL has a so-called working relationship with the NCAA. But without a clear explanation of the violation or offense committed against that relationship, it would have been hard to justify a suspension.

    I know Goodell has a huge ego, but at some point, he’s going to get put in his place. This guy acts like he spends his days hanging out with Michael Bloomberg, trying to figure out what foods he should ban from New York Restaurants.

  33. No Home Team, you are just flat out wrong and I suspect you will see that in very short order. The NFL can’t support it’s “unofficial farm system” by setting such a precedent. There will be lawsuits from everywhere, including fans of teams that lost to teams that played teams with players, who should have been suspended.

    The whole idea is crazy and will be overturned.

  34. So, being forced to resign and give up $3+million a year to take the fall for other guys at Ohio St wasn’t enough? Now, his new employee has to suspend him too?

    This is getting out of hand a little isn’t it? Does the NFL really want to try to enforce NCAA rules and suspensions? That could be opening up a can of worms…

    The guy already lost his job isn’t that enough?

    Pryor is going to make at least 100s of 1000s or millions in his career and Tressel is pretty much a QC coach now…give the guy a break.

  35. Then he may as well start suspending anyone that’s ever played/coached in college, cause they’re all guilty of that booster stuff.

  36. So, I imagine it is any day now he will suspend Pete Carroll? Goodell is just a moron and I worry about the future of the sport in the hands of someone who is so clearly in over his head. Hopefully the NFL is so powerful that he can’t really do any significant damage.

  37. If the NFL is going to impose their league conduct rules on the college players, which is not a bad thing, the NFL needs to start giving money to these kids in college. It would help deter some of the off field financial issues, which seems to be the root of off the field problems. Otherwise stay out of college and leave it up to the individual organizations to make the decision wether or not they want a kid to be apart of their organization once they are eligible to be apart of the NFL.

  38. Goodell keeps digging himself into a deeper and deeper hold. First, he claimed that the NCAA rule violations weren’t the reason he was suspending Pryor, but it was his attempt to “undermine” or “circumvent” the NFL draft process. Now, he’s just straight up admitting that he’s going to enforce NCAA suspensions in the NFL. It’s ridiculous. What happens if a player gets ruled ineligible for an entire season? Does he get suspended for 16 games?

  39. Why hasnt someone taken this idiot to court yet? I was late for work this morning…is he going to suspend me?

    The owners need to fire him. The NFL has nothing to do with the NCAA. Pryor was suspended because of what he did in trying to get around the rules of the draft not for selling his stuff.

  40. It’s official. Roger Goodell is Football Zeus. All bow down to the great overlord of ALL FOOTBALL! Next he’ll be suspending players for being academically ineligible while playing High School football. I thought Tags was a jerkoff…but this guy is a total egomaniac.

  41. I agree that he has gone to far, he does nothing to the NFL players that were arrested twice or three times during the lockout and does nothing to the NFL player that shot at someone but he wants to jump into the college game which he has no business in. I think the owners or somebody better sit him down before he screws up a good deal.

  42. So Roger Goodell is now the Commissioner of the NCAA. Why not, he can’t manage the NFL so he might as well muck up the NCAA? Does Goodell’s ego have any limits?

  43. Im glad Roger Goodell is atleast being consistent with the punishments. I called for a 7 game suspension of Tressel because he was the adult and the coverup. There is too much money on the table now the NCAA Football Players need a per diem.

    The days of mowing lawns and working to move somebody on off season for scratch is obsolete. Part time jobs to supplement income is gone.

    Hell help out the economy! No NCAA football player should have to work to get by at college. A reasonable per diem should be allocated. This is sounding more like a good argument for the knucklehead on the Steelers that said that the NFL was virtual slavery. I still feel the nicks and dings from playing non professional sports. Sit in my bedroom in the morning when I get up and you would think your at a movie theater with a popcorn machine hittin’ hot. Too much cash not to take care of soldiers that give you your cash.

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