New CBA doesn’t diminish Commissioner’s ultimate power over Personal Conduct Policy cases

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The Commissioner’s power under the new CBA is shrinking. Unless it isn’t.

The proposed CBA definitely changes the Commissioner’s authority over the Personal Conduct Policy. But he still retains final say over the process, including the ability to both reduce and to enhance the punishment implemented by the neutral party that will make the initial decisions.

The CBA creates a “Disciplinary Officer” position for the initial decisions. Those decisions are then subject to appeal to the Commissioner, and either side may appeal the Disciplinary Officer’s final rulings.

That’s a dramatic change to the current procedure, which involves appeals to the Commissioner of decisions made by the Commissioner. Because the Commissioner would never be appealing his own decision, no appeal would ever result in a player getting a greater suspension than the suspension based on the initial decision. Under the new CBA, the league has the right to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Officer to the Commissioner, who can (based on the record presented to the Disciplinary Officer) impose greater discipline than the discipline imposed by the Disciplinary Officer.

In other words, the Commissioner still has final say, given that the Commissioner has the power to go farther than the Disciplinary Officer went. So the alteration to the process is basically window dressing.

It would have made much more sense to flip it around, with the Commissioner making the initial decision and the appeal being handled by an independent decision-maker. But that’s not what happened. So the changes to the Personal Conduct Policy’s appeal process really doesn’t change much of anything.

4 responses to “New CBA doesn’t diminish Commissioner’s ultimate power over Personal Conduct Policy cases

  1. It’s simple. Behave like an adult and you’ll have no problem with Roger.

  2. Its a small win because Goodell is not the original judge and the appeal judge.

  3. The biggest part of the story is missing. How does this ‘disciplinary officer’get appointed? The most obvious is Goodell himself. If it were someone agreed upon by a majority vote of the 32 player reps and the league then the appointment could be considered somewhat impartial. If it’s a Goodell stooge-which is likely because, bureaucracy-then it’s just an executioner.

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