As far as the NFL is concerned, the matter of Matt Patricia’s past is closed.
The league has announced that it will not discipline either the Lions or Patricia, after a 1996 incident in which the head coach was accused of sexual assault.
Patricia denied any wrongdoing — at the time and recently when a public records search yielded the paperwork. And since the incident was well before he was involved in any NFL business, the league can’t punish him under the personal conduct policy.
Patricia didn’t reveal the information to the Lions (and he shouldn’t have), though there is a troubling aspect to a newspaper finding more things out with a public records search than a team does when hiring one of its highest-profile employees.
The league met with the Lions and Patricia last week to discuss the matter.
The case never went to trial, as the woman who made the accusation didn’t cooperate with prosecutors and testify against him.