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Goodell says NFL will hire new head of discipline


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced a new personal conduct policy that he says “significantly strengthens our conduct rules,” as the NFL attempts to move past the mess that embroiled the league in the wake of the Ray Rice case.

Goodell said the NFL will hold everyone -- not just players but owners, coaches, team staff and everyone affiliated with the league -- to high standards in their personal conduct. Goodell also said the league will hire a new employee who will oversee discipline in the NFL.

“These high standards will be upheld through a rigorous process, one that is clear, formal, consistent and transparent, that includes due process for league investigations, the addition of an advisory group of experts, and a new disciplinary officer,” Goodell said. “This will be a highly qualified individual with a criminal justice background, hired for the newly created position of assistant counsel for investigations and conduct -- the person who will oversee our investigations and decide the discipline for violations of the policy.”

Goodell also announced a new committee that will include not only owners but also retired players Warrick Dunn and John Stallworth, which will be tasked with helping the NFL to shape changes to its disciplinary structure.

“It is better for everyone associated with the NFL,” Goodell said.

It remains to be seen whether the NFL Players Association agrees with that. The players are skeptical of any disciplinary measures that involve Goodell, and there may be nothing Goodell can say today that will make that skepticism go away.