Congress asks NFL pointed questions about unpaid $18 million to NIH

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Congress has essentially sent a collection letter to the NFL.

Via Deadspin.com, an item of correspondence dated July 26, 2017 from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce to Commissioner Roger Goodell primarily has one purpose: To ask the league to cough up $18 million in money previously committed to the National Institutes of Health for the Sports Health and Research Program.

The letter from four members of the committee also asks the NFL whether it plans to renew the agreement that established the Sports Health and Research Program, and whether the NFL plans to provide additional funding beyond its original $30 million commitment, $12 million of which has been paid. The committee seeks a response no later than August 11.

Last year, a Congressional report accused the NFL of rescinding $16 million of that same $30 million NIH gift, allegedly due to the league’s disagreement with the NIH’s selection of a researcher to oversee testing aimed at detecting Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in living patients. Days later, Goodell wrote a letter to all owners and team presidents explaining that the $30 million gift would be honored.

It may still be honored, but with only one month left in the original five-year agreement establishing the Sports Health and Research Program, the NFL still hasn’t kicked in the $18 million. Unless the agreement is going to be extended, there may be no way to use the money, if it’s ever paid.

The NFL has told the Washington Post that the league is “currently engaged in constructive discussions” with the NIH regarding the issue. Which sort of sounds something like “the check is in the mail.”

19 responses to “Congress asks NFL pointed questions about unpaid $18 million to NIH

  1. I like the article, but do we know next steps if money isn’t paid by August 11th?

    How is the NFL negotiating now to push for an extension?

    Recent release from Boston Universality certainly can’t help the NFL or make them likely to pay.

    Does 18 million even matter to 32 owners splitting the cost vs what could amount to 600 minion per franchise with a CBA paying players comparably to nba salaries? Could new more like 900 million considering nfl

  2. It’s probably just a simple accounting mistake. You know, like the time the league mistakenly appropriated $110M from the shared funds pool that should have gone to the players. And we know that was an honest mistake because all the NFLPA had to do to get it back was drag the league before a special master. The thieves at 345 Park Ave make Gotti look like a choir boy.

  3. Goodell and the NFL will be,,,perplexed with this news. Gollum-like tremors and gnawing of teeth by the “powers that be”.

  4. Just dock Goodell’s pay for a year– that way, his net pay reflects his performance.

  5. The nerve of Congress, asking the poor NFL to fork over 18 million dollars, just because they promised to do that!!
    I mean, who do these Congressmen and women think they are, Roger Goodell?????
    Goodell is the only one who can order people to do what he wants them to do even though he has no right to do it!

  6. We should just trust the NFL to make the right decision no matter what. I’ve done my fair share of deducin’ over the years, and that’s what I’ve deduced.

  7. Congress should be more concerned about the bully boy and his collusion with Russia.

  8. The $18 Million will be applied as a 10% discount at the NFL Shop for all employees of the National Institute for Health and for two free weeks of NFL RedZone.

    Please, no thanks necessary.

  9. Who dropped the ball after 59 months? Who let the NFL out of their pledge for these 5 years? What a softball request: “we are interest in the NFL’s plans for the remaining $18 million”. Is that what they would say if I haven’t paid taxes for 5 years? Hell no. Reps Pallone, et al, why are you groveling? We the people are having to float the cost of these studies that the NFL was going to contribute to. Do your damn job. The IRS should be called in to see if the NFL and owners wrote off this $18 mil years ago. I bet they did.

  10. See what the League should do is- declare some of the $18million “incentives” and “signing bonuses”, then spread it over five years and pro rate it against the cap, back loading it to such a degree that even Mickey Loomis faints.

    The NIH will probably then owe the NFL money…

  11. Not defending the NFL but politicians have made us many promises that they didn’t keep either.

  12. The NFL can spend 20 million in lawyer fees, and court costs, and on an 4 month investigation over a minuscule amount of air in a football, though.

  13. Apparently, somebody in the government needs to make their next mortgage payment to Russia…

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