No limits on Goodell testimony

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The bad news for the NFL is that Commissioner Roger Goodell has been required to testify in hearing regarding the appeal of Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension.  The worse news is that, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, no limits have been applied to the topics on which he’ll be interrogated.

The case involves two separate issues — whether Rice lied to the NFL in connection with the investigation that resulted in a two-game suspension and whether the NFL knew, should have known, or needed to know the specific contents of the elevator video before issuing Rice’s initial two-game suspension.  Although the NFL’s lawyers will be able to object to any and all questions posed to Goodell, former U.S. Judge Barbara Jones applied no restrictions in her decision to compel the Commissioner’s testimony.

This doesn’t mean the NFL won’t try.  Plan A likely was shielding Goodell from testimony completely.  Plan B may be to limit the topics to which he’ll be exposed.  And with the question of what the NFL and when the NFL knew it about the Rice video far more likely to create lingering problems for the NFL than whether Rice told the truth, look for the NFL to continue to try to protect Goodell from having to answer questions regarding what the league knew or should have known under oath.

But the P.R. cost could be significant.  The effort to keep Goodell from testifying already paints the league in a not-so-favorable light.  Ongoing attempts to shape and mold and craft and limit the contours of what he can and can’t be asked will invite even more scrutiny.

Beyond the court of public opinion, there’s also a jury of 32 who may be very interested in how this plays out.

Plan C (or Plan B) could be a settlement of Rice’s appeal.  But Rice likely wouldn’t be interested in something like immediate reinstatement.  At this point, a significant amount of money would have to change hands to get Rice to release the tail of the tiger — so much that it would be obvious that the league opted not to purchase peace with Rice, but to buy Goodell’s right to remain silent.

32 responses to “No limits on Goodell testimony

  1. Roger Goodell is not cut out for this. What the NFL needs to do is let the best Sports business man in the world take control of the reins. Mr Jerry Jones. He made his franchise #1 in the NFL and top 3 in America and top 5 world wide. Jerry needs to let his son Stephen Jones take control of the reins here in America’s Team Nation . If Jerry was in charge, we would of had a team in L.A by now and in London as well. While everyone is talking and dreaming about it, Jerry would’ve already done it. The Dallas Cowboys aka America’s Team is already set for the 3rd dynasty so Jerry needs to go and save our beloved NFL now .


  2. The world sure is crazy nowadays. When did the NFL become Judge/Jury/Executioner? Don’t we have a legal system that people should be more concerned with than Roger Goodell as far as doling out punishment?

  3. Let’s be honest though…no matter what happens and what truths come out, is anyone going to stop watching football because of it? The NFL machine will carry on, business as usual.

  4. This is sick and twisted. A stupid player knocks his fiancé out cold and then he (and his union) tries to blame the NFL for his suspension…and to extort money from the league to boot.

  5. In separate news, John Mara has been selected as the interrogator and plans to base his questions entirely upon how many draft picks should be taken away from Dallas, Philly and Washington due to Rice’s actions and request that the Giants be awarded Demarco Murray ” Just because”

  6. Any one want to bet he gets out of testifying? This will be settle before the truth comes out.

  7. If you haven’t read his testimonies on concussion investigations or anything else, you should. His attorneys will turn this into a battle over words and nothing else. The rich protect the rich, as always.

  8. It isnt a legal proceeding. He isnt going to be under any oath. Anyone thinking he will tell the truth, and the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is an imbecile.

    This is the equivilent of an HR hearing. It isnt leagally binding.

    Goodell can still plead his constutitional right though. He does not have to testify against himself if it will incriminate himself.

    Anyone expecting a Jack Nicholson scene from Goodell (You cant handle the truth!) is sadly mistaken.

  9. This is sad

    I think that it is time for Goodell to walk the plank

    That picture says it all

  10. Goodell should be fired, he should be hung out to dry in the streets like the con-artist he is!… wait, what… are we still doing this?

  11. it’s ridiculous that Rice can knock a woman out then end up possibly screwing the NFL out of money

  12. Goodell suspended rice for two games. Then, when the media rained down on him, he essentially violated rice’s double jeopardy rights and suspended him again! So yeah, this is about goodell screwing up and rice should be PROUD of his Union for backing him.

    This should teach all you Union haters a lesson! Now, go back and suckle at the scraps from your boss longshanks table and pray he doesn’t Fire you “just because”.

  13. The NFL has put itself in the crosshairs by not following its own policies and the requirements spelled out in the NFL/NFLPA labor agreement.
    This isn’t about Ray Rice’s guilt or innocence in the domestic violence case. It is solely about whether the NFL followed the agreement with the player’s union and its own policies and it seems clear that they did not. In so doing, they have opened Pandora’s Box and now find themselves potentially vulnerable not just on the issue at hand (ie the Ray Rice matter) but also the events preceeding and following it. Ray Rice is not the victim regarding the domestic violence issue, but he certainly looks like the victim of the NFL not following the collective bargaining agreement and deciding to just take matters into its own hands. This is what lead to his grievance and what appears to have given him all the cards in the game against the NFL.

  14. I still can’t believe Goodell bungled his way to where this all sits now. If he’d either went with longer suspension initially or taken the heat for a couple days noting that 2 games was still the harshest penalty the league had ever given out for domestic violence then the story would have been gone in a week. Instead he lied about the second video and then he lied about what Rice said to them.

    It’s going to be classic when Rog has to explain why there’s no transcript of the Rice meeting and/or how there was one but it was somehow lost.

  15. This is actually good for the NFL. Rice lying under oath will be the end of him in this league. As well it should be.

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