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The NFL CBA and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy
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The NFL CBA and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy

Aug 5, 2022, 1:32 PM

On a whim...I went googling for the NFL CBA and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. I found the 2020 CBA and the 2018 personal conduct policy (I assume they were good sources for these).

So I write this with no opinion rendered about what DW did or did not do, only talking about the procedure I would guess is (sorta) being followed.

Unless I've missed something...the 2020 NFL CBA has 29 attachments to it, bringing it to 456 pages at Appendix CC. The NFL Personal Conduct Policy, only 8 pages, is not one of those attachments.

With a simple CTRL-F search of the CBA, the term Personal Conduct Policy appears 9 times, including appearances in the Table of Contents and in section headings.

Mostly it appears in Title 46 Commissioner Discipline. Appears 7 times there. I pasted in section 1(e), below, for those T-netters with a little time on their hands.

I'm not an attorney, but in regard to the Personal Conduct Policy:

1) there's a lot of use of the term 'May' versus use of the term 'Shall'
2) the description of disciplinary actions in the Personal Conduct Policy (pasted in below) is pretty darn short (and weak, imo), and with no court determination of "sexual assault involving physical force," what's there to talk about on appeal by the NFL?
3) that same section mentions the 6-game suspension for a first time offender, as well. So again, on appeal, what will the attorneys talk about?
4) I find it odd that the Personal Conduct Policy is NOT an attachment to the CBA, even though there are 29 attachments to that CBA

So my guess is that if the NFL gains any ground with the appeals judge(? attorney? hearing officer? whatever), there will be a immediate countersuit.

In the Personal Conduct Policy, you can find this on pages 6-7:
"With regard to violations of the Personal Conduct Policy that involve: (i) criminal assault or battery
(felony); (ii) domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence; or (iii) sexual assault involving physical force or committed against someone incapable of giving consent, a first offense will subject the offender to a baseline suspension without pay of six games, with consideration given to any aggravating or mitigating factors. The presence of possible aggravating factors may warrant a longer suspension. Possible aggravating factors include, but are not limited to, a prior violation of the Personal Conduct Policy, similar misconduct before joining the NFL, violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when an act is committed against a particularly vulnerable person, such as a child, a pregnant woman, or an elderly person, or where the act is committed in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in permanent banishment from the NFL. An individual who has been banished may petition for reinstatement after one year, but there is no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted.

Appeals of any disciplinary decision will be processed pursuant to Article 46 of the CBA."


From Title 46 of the CBA:
"(e) (i) Fines or suspensions imposed upon players for violating the League’s Personal Conduct Policy, as well as whether a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy has been proven by the NFL, will be initially determined by a Disciplinary Officer
jointly selected and appointed by the parties. Unless the parties mutually determine otherwise,
the Disciplinary Officer shall serve a minimum two-year term. Thereafter, the
Disciplinary Officer may be discharged by either party at any time upon 120 days’ written
notice. Upon notice of intention to discharge or notice of intention to resign, the parties
will each identify a minimum of two successor candidates. All timely candidates will then
be promptly ranked by the parties. Within sixty days, the top two candidates will be interviewed
by the parties. Absent agreement on a successor, the parties will alternately strike
names from said list, with the party striking first to be determined by the flip of a coin.
Should a party fail to identify, rank, interview or strike candidates in a timely manner, that
party will forfeit its rights with respect to that step of the appointment process, including
selection of the ultimate successor if that party fails to participate in alternate striking.
(ii) The Disciplinary Officer will be responsible for conducting evidentiary hearings (pursuant
to the procedures of Section 2 below), issuing binding findings of fact and
determining the discipline that should be imposed, if any, in accordance with the Personal
Conduct Policy.
(iii) At least ten (10) calendar days prior to the hearing, the NFL shall inform the NFLPA,
player and Disciplinary Officer of the recommended terms of discipline.
(iv) The NFL will have the burden of establishing that the player violated the Personal
Conduct Policy. The NFL also will publish mitigating factors for discipline which shall
include acceptance of responsibility and cooperation, engagement with clinical resources
and voluntary restitution.
(v) The Disciplinary Officer’s disciplinary determination will be final and binding subject
only to the right of either party to appeal to the Commissioner. The appeal shall be in
writing within three business days of the Disciplinary Officer’s decision, and any response
to the appeal shall be filed in writing within two business days thereafter. The appeal shall
be limited to arguments why, based on the evidentiary record below, the amount of discipline,
if any, should be modified. The Commissioner or his designee will issue a written
decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute and will be
binding upon the player(s), Club(s) and the parties to this Agreement."

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Re: The NFL CBA and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy

Aug 5, 2022, 2:55 PM

Way too much to read, but my guess is that it is all irrelevant and immaterial. I am not an attorney either, but we do watch Perry Mason everything morning. There are very few people or things that care about how any of the various rules affected Deshaun and the big one is his bank account. I will always cherish the fact that I was lucky enough to be at Deshaun's games and will never us beating Bama 35-31, but he was wrong and is paying the price.

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Re: The NFL CBA and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy

Aug 5, 2022, 10:13 PM

Apparently you can't read, he said he wanted to talk about the process and not DW4. And what do you do? Go on about there is too much to actually read and talk about DW4. You could have taken the opportunity to not say anything at all, or read the 3 paragraphs over a few days..

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Re: The NFL CBA and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy

Aug 5, 2022, 10:16 PM

Thanks for doing the research. I read part of the policy but not the rest. It's a mess and Goodell is trying to work on the fringes or off the page... the unprovable question is if there ws contact who initiated it.

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