April 11, 2007

Pacman Jones Suspended For 2007

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It was a long time coming, but it finally happened on April 10: Pacman Jones was suspended for the 2007 NFL season for his ongoing off-the-field issues. Chris Henry was also suspended eight games.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote letters to Jones and Henry, explaining his decision.
“Your conduct has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league. You have put in jeopardy an otherwise promising NFL career, and have risked both your own safety and the safety of others through your off-field actions. In each of these respects, you have engaged in conduct detrimental to the NFL and failed to live up to the standards expected of NFL players. Taken as a whole, this conduct warrants significant sanction.”
“We must protect the integrity of the NFL,” Goodell said in a separate statement. “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.”
Last Thursday, I argued in my column that Jones should be suspended (after having seen this video of Chris “Mad Dog” Russo). What do you think? Were the suspensions long enough, too short, just right … or should they have been suspended at all? With the NFL expected to announce a code of conduct and the NBA code of conduct, are leagues regulating their athlete too harshly, not harshly enough, just the right amount … or should they even do it at all?