As the NFL looks to move past the New Orleans Saints "Bountygate" scandal, it appears a new scandal is emerging.
Jay Glazer has reported the following:
I'm reporting the NFL is investing the Chargers after they were caught using a banned illegal Stick em-type substance vs broncos Mon night— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 21, 2012
The fact the Stick 'Em is still an issue is shocking enough in and of itself, as is the fact that the San Diego Chargers felt they could get away with its use in today's NFL landscape.
However, the NFL must be careful with how it reacts to this situation moving forward. There is still plenty of controversy surrounding Roger Goodell and his ongoing legal battles with Jonathan Vilma.
Accordingly, there is no need to draw a large amount of attention to a new scandal when all of the information is not readily available. Who was using the stick 'em and who ordered its use is unclear.
What is known is that a towel was spotted by an official inside of a Chargers huddle that contained the banned substance.
Glazer is also reporting that San Diego is facing sanctions including loss of draft picks and fines.
The NFL must ensure it has a full assortment of facts and a firm knowledge of the situation before handing down rulings like this. These are obviously serious penalties, and while the league wants to be both firm and swift in its rulings, it must also not rush to poor judgment.
Another situation such as the one stemming from "Bountygate" and Vilma must be avoided at all costs. The league needs to gather as much information as possible, interview as many players, coaches and officials as necessary, and ensure the punishment fits the crime.
The Goodell led league office has been known for being strict against even the most minuscule of violations, but in a case of this potential magnitude regarding stick 'em, the league must tread carefully.