I don't think you're describing the status quo accurately, which isn't really your fault because the NFL hasn't been consistent on it. The NFL has suspended players before a final ruling by a judge, not suspended players even after a final ruling, and several permutations thereof.Chuck Z said:Let's look at the incentives that are currently in place with the league right now. The league has taken the approach that they will not mete out any discipline until a final ruling has been reached by a judge, at which point Goodell will rule on discipline. Unfortunately, this encourages teams to draft players and keep who may be character risks, as they will retain the services of the player throughout the investigation, and may only lose their services in the event of a conviction, at which point the player may be released. There is no real rule in place to prevent this from happening now.
It's really not very common and very much not the situation that occurs in any workplace. It happens for some people who are being investigated for misconduct in connection with their jobs. Others are fired unceremoniously. Others have no disciplinary action taken against them at all while charges are pending.In my opinion, the major thing that has to be done is remove the incentive for NFL teams to engage with players who may be discipline problems. With the way the CBA is currently drafted, NFL teams can hide behind "due process" much like the Vikings and Panthers attempted to do and still try to get their guys on the field. The option I would suggest in fixing this aspect of the problem is that any player who is charged with a violent crime be suspended with pay, effective immediately, for the length of the investigation. This is much the situation that occurs in any other workplace. Being suspended with pay is very common for people who are involved in ongoing investigations. It should be in the NFL as well.
But I can't understand why you think this is the proper incentive system anyway. Should the Patriots have been forced to suspend Hernandez with pay until years later when his trial and appeals are done? It seems more likely than not that he took actions that had the foreseeable results of rendering him unable to fulfill his contractual duties and, more importantly, causing a number of deaths.
They don't carry signs that say, "Possible future batterer." I think you're basing your proposed policy on a number of unsound assumptions.By moving to this incentive system, it discourages bringing on players who are character risks unless you feel that you have means within your team to help prevent those risks from occurring again. I think that burden falls to the individual team, rather than the NFL, to determine whether they want to allocate the funds for counseling and other programs for their own players if they want to try to bring on high-risk players.
The purpose of the criminal justice system is not and never has been to impose the only consequences for unacceptable behavior. Given the awesome power of the system to deprive people of their lives and liberty, it operates under a burden of proof requirement sometimes described as being in favor of 10 guilty men going free lest one innocent man be punished.I do not think the NFL should have additional suspensions once a verdict is reached in a trial. If a player has to serve time for a crime, he will miss games. If he is able to reach a deal with a judge to avoid time, he has already been suspended through the proceedings, and teams can take risks on those players as needed. But I do not believe that additional punishment should be given out at this point, as the criminal justice system has served its purpose.
I have literally no idea why people believe this burden of proof should apply to any repercussions other than those imposed by the criminal justice system itself. In doing something like this, I think you have your incentives precisely backwards.