Owners to revisit Goodell's role in discipline process: report

Fri Sep 4, 2015 4:18pm EDT
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(Reuters) - National Football League team owners are planning to re-evaluate Commissioner Roger Goodell's role in player discipline after his "Deflategate" ruling was overturned by a federal judge, according to a report on Friday.

The Washington Post, which cited several people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity, reported that it was uncertain whether Goodell's role in meting out discipline would be reduced.

"There will certainly be discussion about that," according to one anonymous owner quoted in the article.

The report was published a day after a federal judge threw out Goodell's four-game ban of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over his alleged role in a scheme to deflate footballs used in a playoff victory last season.

According to another person in the article who was said to be familiar with the NFL's inner workings, it is premature to know whether enough owners favor such a change for the league to engage the players' union about making modifications to the disciplinary process.

The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players empowers Goodell to dole out punishments and oversee the appeal process in cases involving the integrity of the sport and in cases under the personal conduct policy.

Within hours of Thursday's ruling, the NFL appealed the order vacating Brady's four-game suspension.

But the case had become another test of Goodell's authority to discipline players after already having suffered reversals in the past year over the league's domestic abuse punishments meted out to Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy.

The NFL did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York August 12, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid