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Players won’t get credit for paid leave under new conduct policy

Jeff Pash, Roger Goodell

NFL football lead counsel Jeff Pash, right, accompanied by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, after a meeting with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. to discuss HGH testing for NFL players. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)


Yes, players charged with crimes of violence will be placed on paid leave pending the outcome of their legal cases and the resolution of their disciplinary proceedings (including appeal). No, they won’t get credit for a single game missed while placed on paid leave when the time comes to be discipline.

During a media conference call explaining the new personal conduct policy, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash (pictured with Commissioner Roger Goodell) defended the decision to not give players credit for “time served” by characterizing the move as not disciplinary, because the player continues to be paid. Pash compared the situation to other workplaces, in which employees accused of certain misconduct are placed on paid leave.

But there’s a huge difference in pro sports, which the NFL continues to ignore, deliberately or otherwise. Football players want to play football. Keeping them from playing football is, for them, disciplinary. It also entails significant competitive issues for his team and for other teams.

That’s where the league’s logic collapses. Football players want to play football. So after paying them for a potentially unlimited number of games to not play, why not give them credit for the games already missed when imposing discipline, using per-game fines until the total number of game checks lost matches the number of games missed before discipline was issued?