Art Shell seeks improved appeals process for player fines

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When a player in the NFL is handed a fine by the league for an action on the field on Sundays, he has the right to an appeal as stated by the collective bargaining agreement. The appeals process is usually conducted by conference call with up to four parties on the line: the fined player and his counsel, an NFL appeals officer and a representative of the NFL Players Association.

Hall of Famer Art Shell has served as one of the league’s two appeals officers until being recently replaced by retired Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk.

Shell believes another party should be included in the process to more adequately understand the play that led to the fine and what action should ultimately be taken. According to Jarrett Bell of the USA Today, Shell wants to see the victimized player also have a voice in the process.

“That job is not easy,” Shell said. “You’re representing somebody who’s not on the conference call – the person who was victimized.”

It’s a good suggestion that the league should seriously consider implementing. If the player on the receiving end of a borderline illegal hit can provide a different perspective on why the play ended in the given outcome, it could help the appeals process become more effective.


9 responses to “Art Shell seeks improved appeals process for player fines

  1. It’ be nice to have a “victim” say, “Yeah, I ducked at the last second which caused the helmet-to-helmet contact. “

  2. Yeah. The player that got hit will want to be on record saying, “it really hurt me. Give him a big fine.”

  3. OMG can you only imagine how the Steelers would wreak havoc with this? They are the biggest whiners in the NFL.

  4. In few instances will a “victimized” player speak against the perpetrator, even if he believes punishment is just. As a result, instead of helping make the case the addition will make it seem like a railroad job since everyone on the call but the league will be saying it was unintentional, no big deal etc.

    Enforcing the rules via fines is the job of the league and needs to be done irrespective of what the expressed thoughts are of the victim. Shell is wrong when he says he represents the victim. He represents the Rules.

  5. Also, the NFL has stated multiple times to the officials, throw the flags if you think something might be happening, if you think it might have been an illegal hit. And threatened them if they didn’t. The threat of the concussion lawsuits, and other future lawsuits has the league in a mode where the correctness of penalties for these rule changes is IRRELEVANT.

    The NFL just doesn’t care if these flags are being thrown when they shouldn’t (and the associated fines).

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