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fordfixer
09-04-2011, 11:35 PM
Paul Daugherty
Paul Daugherty is a columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/w ... z1X2tE4Tuu (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/paul_daugherty/08/31/harrison.benson/index.html#ixzz1X2tE4Tuu)

INSIDE THE NFL
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/w ... =nfl_wr_a1 (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/paul_daugherty/08/31/harrison.benson/index.html?sct=nfl_wr_a1)
NFL dances line of hypocrisy with personal conduct policy



Boxing gloves or kid gloves?

Over here, James Harrison, linebacker, Pro Bowler, fearsome pass rusher for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison is also a candid, unrepentant, up-yours kind of guy. He referred to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as a "puppet'' and "the devil'' in a recent magazine story.

Across the way, Cedric Benson, quiet, thoughtful running back, twice a 1,000-yard rusher for the Bengals, a bright light on a dim NFL team in Cincinnati. Benson has also been arrested four times in three years and is currently in the Travis County Jai in Austin, Texas, after pleading no contest to a 2010 assault charge.

Which player gets the kid gloves from the NFL, and which endures the standing-eight?

It's a rhetorical question to most who follow the league and the arbitrary discipline handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell. Yet it speaks to a problem that isn't going away.

Last fall, Goodell fined Harrison more than $100,000 for on-field hits deemed unsafe. The commissioner docked him $75,000 for two hits in one game, against Cleveland wideouts Josh Cribbs and Mohammed Massaquoi. Neither hit drew a penalty. A few months earlier, Goodell had met with Benson to discuss the assault charge for which Benson is now doing time. Goodell decided not to fine or suspend the Bengals running back.

There could be some inconsistency here.

Harrison is a difficult case. Benson is grateful for his second chance in Cincinnati following three disastrous years in Chicago. After running for 150 yards in a December win over Cleveland last year, Benson stood in front of his locker and wept in gratitude for the second chance he'd been given in Cincinnati. Rocks would talk before James Harrison wept openly in front of the media.

But are Harrison's misdeeds more heinous than Benson's?

You could argue they're less so. Harrison's indiscretions occurred within the context of Sunday afternoon combat, in a league where violence is assumed. Benson's happened far away from the game. Since 2008, Benson has been arrested four times in his hometown of Austin, twice on alcohol-related charges and twice for assault.

Why is Harrison punished by Goodell and Benson is not?

Is Goodell's no-nonsense authoritarianism encouraging, arbitrary or merely a necessary component of doing business?

It's easy to say that Goodell was more forceful with Harrison because Harrison's misdeeds occurred on the field. Let the criminal justice system deal with Benson. That doesn't explain other fines and suspensions, most notably those involving Adam Jones and the late Chris Henry.

Goodell released the following statement after suspending Jones for the 2007 season for his involvement in a strip-club melee:

"We must protect the integrity of the NFL. The highest standards of conduct must be met by everyone in the NFL because it is a privilege to represent the NFL, not a right. These players, and all members of our league, have to make the right choices and decisions in their conduct on a consistent basis."

In a letter to Jones and Henry, Goodell wrote: "Your conduct has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league.''

On the embarrassment and ridicule scale, where should Harrison fall? Benson?

The NFL dances the hypocrisy tango on this issue. It asks its players once a week to behave like barbarians. The rest of the time, it expects those barbarians to act like the rest of us. Only, they're not like the rest of us. That's a reason we watch them.

That's not the league's only dance with hypocrisy. It decries fan violence, yet does nothing to eliminate the beer sales that fuel the rage. Beer = violence = bad publicity is not a stout enough equation for the NFL to mess with the lucrative relationship it enjoys with its beer sponsors.

Since Goodell can't serve up two-game suspensions to brawling, gun-toting fans, the league's best option would be to ban beer sales at its stadiums, and to prohibit alcohol in its stadium parking lots. Subsequently, the Mississippi River will reverse direction and bacon will become a healthy snack.

But we digress.

Goodell has an obligation to protect the image and reputation of his league, same as any business, because image is money. Unless you work for yourself, you are probably subject to a personal conduct policy. It might be spelled out in a manual, it might be agreed to in a contract. You are made aware of it.

Most companies aren't as arbitrary about it as the NFL is. Players need guidelines. They need to know the rules will be applied fairly, across the board, no matter who the offending player might be. Players need to know what to expect. On and off the field.

Just because James Harrison has a personality that could freeze a meat locker doesn't mean he should be judged more harshly than Cedric Benson, or any other player.

I wanted to ask Benson about this Wednesday, but I couldn't. He was in jail. Harrison, meanwhile, was at practice. Where he was supposed to be.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/w ... z1X2sm9hqt (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/paul_daugherty/08/31/harrison.benson/index.html#ixzz1X2sm9hqt)

hawaiiansteel
09-05-2011, 12:47 AM
I wanted to ask Cedric Benson about this Wednesday, but I couldn't. He was in jail.



I will feel a little safer and sleep a little better now knowing there is one less Cincinnati Bengals players free out on the street. :Beer

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5085/5353318695_01d3cb5187_z.jpg

fordfixer
09-05-2011, 01:05 AM
Bengals RB Benson released from Texas jail

By The Associated Press Sep 3, 6:27 pm EDT

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/n ... onreleased (http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ap-bengals-bensonreleased)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson has been released from a Texas jail after serving five days of a 20-day sentence for misdemeanor assault.

Benson’s attorney Sam Bassett says the 28-year-old Benson earned time off his sentence by doing work mopping floors and helping paint crews. State law also allows inmates to begin earning time off as soon as they enter jail.

Benson pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor assault charges on Monday in Austin. He was arrested in 2010 for punching a bar employee. He was arrested again in July for punching a former roommate.

Benson has been the Bengals’ leading rusher each of the last three seasons, going over 1,000 yards in 2009 and 2010.

hawaiiansteel
09-05-2011, 01:27 AM
Benson’s attorney Sam Bassett says the 28-year-old Benson earned time off his sentence by doing work mopping floors and helping paint crews.


it's called career education, Benson might as well start planning for his life after football.

Discipline of Steel
09-05-2011, 05:48 AM
You mean by getting an early start on his penal career?

steelblood
09-05-2011, 08:27 AM
Roger is a turd. We will be the first team with a player suspended for "illegal hits" this season.

DukieBoy
09-05-2011, 09:19 AM
Thoughtful article.

Lawyer Goodell used James Harrison as NFL game-day case law. Wishing I could think of some lawyer jokes right about now.

Djfan
09-05-2011, 10:49 AM
Rocks would talk before James Harrison wept openly in front of the media.

Nice.

RuthlessBurgher
09-05-2011, 02:22 PM
Thoughtful article.

Lawyer Goodell used James Harrison as NFL game-day case law. Wishing I could think of some lawyer jokes right about now.

Interesting also that it was written by a reporter for a Cincinnati newspaper, sticking up for the rights of a Steeler while wondering how a Bengal got off lightly.

hawaiiansteel
09-06-2011, 01:32 PM
Goodell: I don’t want to take away the toughness of the game

Posted by Michael David Smith on September 6, 2011


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has heard all the criticism from NFL players who think he’s going way too far in fining them for on-field hits, but Goodell says he doesn’t want to change the nature of the game.

Instead, Goodell said today on ESPN Radio, he’s simply trying to make moderate changes to the game to make it safer — and he said that for every linebacker or defensive back who doesn’t like his emphasis on protecting defenseless players, there’s a quarterback or receiver who does like it.

“It depends on the player and what position they play,” Goodell said. “We want to make the game safer, but we don’t want to take anything away from the toughness of the game and why we love the game. But there are clearly changes that have happened through the decades where techniques have been taken out of the game and they’ve made the game safer, and they’ve made players safer, and hopefully extend their careers. That’s good for them.”

Goodell said players have long resisted the league’s efforts to make the game safer, going back decades before he became commissioner.

“I recognize the reaction — we had it back in the 70s when we put more protection in for the quarterbacks,” Goodell said. “You saw, ‘We should just let the quarterbacks wear skirts.’ It’s just part of the evolution of the game, but we’re going to continue to do that, to make the game safer, to extend careers, and continue to produce high-quality football.”

According to Goodell, the record ratings the NFL has had in recent years prove that the changes he’s making to the NFL are changes the fans support.

“When you look at the ratings, when you look at the attendance, when you look at the passion for the game, they’re all on the rise,” Goodell said. “So it’s obviously working in a positive way.”

But Goodell’s logic there isn’t necessarily sound: Fans love football and are tuning in to NFL broadcasts in record numbers, but that doesn’t mean they love everything about the way the NFL is being run right now. Emphasizing the safety of players is admirable, but Goodell shouldn’t assume the fans are in his corner on this issue — and he shouldn’t assume they’ll agree with his contention that he hasn’t taken away from the toughness of the game.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -the-game/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/06/goodell-i-dont-want-to-take-away-the-toughness-of-the-game/)

RuthlessBurgher
09-06-2011, 01:44 PM
Goodell: I don’t want to take away the toughness of the game

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hawaiiansteel
09-06-2011, 01:49 PM
Goodell: I don’t want to take away the toughness of the game

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so I take it you're not buying it? :D

papillon
09-06-2011, 01:59 PM
Goodell: I don’t want to take away the toughness of the game

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so I take it you're not buying it? :D

He's buying it, but he's using Monopoly money to make the purchase. :P

Pappy

Slapstick
09-06-2011, 02:44 PM
Cedric Benson arrested 4 times in 3 years and serves time = no suspension

Ben Roethlisberger arrested 0 times within the same period of time = 6 game suspension

The severity of the punishment is directly proportionate to the amount of bad press generated...there is nothing arbitrary about it...

Roethlisberger is a 2 time SB winner...James Harrison is a DPOY...

Cedric Benson is a footnote...

hawaiiansteel
09-24-2011, 06:31 PM
NFLPA agreed to allow punishment of eight players for lockout misconduct

Posted by Mike Florio on September 24, 2011

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/benson-e1316895239978.jpg?w=222

From March 11 through late July, the NFL locked out its player-employees. From time to time during the lockout, the league vowed to hold locked-out players responsible for off-duty misconduct during a lengthy stretch in which they were continuously off-duty, because the NFL wouldn’t allow them to be on-duty.

As Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports reported several weeks ago, the NFL eventually agreed not to take action against players who found themselves in hot water while getting the cold shoulder from the league. But the NFLPA, as Silver reported, curiously agreed that eight men regarded as repeat offenders could be disciplined.

When Commissioner Roger Goodell opted not to suspend Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib or Titans receiver Kenny Britt, some questioned the accuracy of Silver’s report. In the wake of the news that Bengals running back Cedric Benson will be suspended three games, subject to appeal, for allegedly assaulting his former roommate and agreeing to a diversion program that will wipe the slate clean if he stays out of trouble for a year, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports has obtained the names of the eight players whom the NFLPA agreed could be suspended.

We’ve since obtained a copy of the August 4, 2011 letter agreement, from NFL general counsel Jeff Pash to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. The letter bears the signature of both men.

The eight players identified in the letter are: Talib, Britt, Benson, Albert Haynesworth, Clark Haggans, Johnny Jolly, Pacman Jones, and Brandon Underwood.

For the other players, the NFLPA agreed that arrests occurring during the lockout may be used in the future, for determining whether a player is a repeat offender, and thus subject to enhanced penalties under the personal conduct policy. Also, the NFLPA agreed that the players who got into trouble during the lockout could be placed into the substance abuse program based on the specific nature of the alleged violations. Under the August 4 letter, the relevant period extends from March 11 through August 3.

Benson will appeal his three-game suspension on Tuesday. The centerpiece of his argument should be that the league had no power to discipline him for actions occurring while he was locked out, and that the NFLPA had no ability to exempt him from the league’s general position that players won’t be punished for arrests occurring during the lockout. If that fails, Benson should seriously consider filing legal action against the NFLPA for breach of the duty of fair representation — especially since the reconstituted union has compromised Benson’s rights based on events occurring at a time when the union wasn’t a union.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... isconduct/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/24/nflpa-agreed-to-allow-punishment-of-eight-players-for-lockout-misconduct/)

Djfan
09-25-2011, 03:01 AM
goodell insisted on keeping "his" position as the league den mother, able to fine, suspend, etc. He has completely botched it up.

The only thing the owners let him do and he gaffs it.

This guy is the turd of all turds. I would rather have Richard Simmons as commissioner.

He is just sick.