The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy is too arbitrary and often not enforced at all. In the spirit of fairness, the policy should have more finite guidelines. The commissioner has not been consistent with punishments levied or even when punishment is required. See this link for explanation: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/409221-the-hypocrisy-that-is-roger-goodell-and-the-nfl-player-conduct-policy This is an example of what the conduct policy SHOULD look like.
NFL Personal Conduct Policy
This Policy applies to all employees of the NFL, NFLPA, or NFL Franchises and Subsidiaries, full time or part time. This policy will be enforced on all employees regardless of who the offender is or the amount of media attention the violation receives.
Due to the varying nature of laws in different states, we must first classify conduct policy violations into categories. Since all states do not use the same classification system for crimes committed within their borders, we will create our own classifications.
Classifications of Personal Conduct Policy Violations
Class I. Violation of Team or League rules and charges not resulting in a conviction
Class II. Conviction of Class B and C misdemeanors (crimes with maximum punishments between 30 and 90 days in jail)
Class III. Conviction of Class A misdemeanors (crimes with maximum punishments between 91 days and 364 days in jail)
Class IV. Conviction of Class H and I felonies (crimes with maximum punishments between one and six years in prison)
Class V. Conviction Class A-G felonies (crimes with maximum punishments of more than six years in prison)
Punishments for Violating the Personal Conduct Policy
All punishments shall be based upon the maximum sentence for each conviction, regardless of actual time sentenced. If conviction of multiple charges arises from a single incident, the offender will receive punishment for only the most serious conviction. In cases that the offender is incarcerated, the league’s punishment will begin after the offender is released. League punishment will not run concurrent to the offender’s time served.
The terminology of this section is written as if the offender is a player or coach. In the case that the employee is neither a player nor a coach, the terminology “game suspension” will be replaced with “week suspension”. For example, if the violation calls for a two game suspension, a non-player, non-coach would receive a two week suspension. Criminal investigations not resulting in charges will not be punished.
First Violation: Letter of Reprimand
Second Violation: Forfeiture of one week’s pay with no suspension
Third Violation: Forfeiture of one week’s pay and a one game suspension*
All Subsequent violations: Two game suspension
First Violation: Two game suspension
Second Violation: Four game suspension
Third Violation: Eight game suspension
All Subsequent Violations: Sixteen game suspension
First Violation: Four game Suspension
Second Violation: Eight game suspension
Subsequent Violations: Sixteen game suspension
First Violation: Sixteen game suspension
Second Violation: Sixteen game suspension
Third Violation: Lifetime ban
First Violation: Lifetime ban
Repeat Offenders violating Multiple Classes
Previous Class I violations will not be taken into account when an offender is punished under Class II or higher. Previous Class II violations will not be taken into account when an offender is punished under Class IV.
If a repeat offender becomes punishable in a class that is lower than his or her original offense(s), the punishment will be escalated proportionate to the number of previous offenses. For example, if an offender has two previous Class II violations and now faces Class I punishment, he or she will forfeit one week’s pay and be suspended for one game, as if this was the offender’s third Class I offense.
If the offender has previous Class II violations and becomes punishable under Class III, the punishment shall be escalated as if the offender’s previous violations were Class III violations. This means that if the offender has one previous Class II violation, he or she would receive an eight game suspension. Two or more previous Class II violations would mean he or she would receive a sixteen game suspension.
If the offender has previous Class III violations and becomes punishable under Class IV, the punishment shall be escalated as if this was the offender’s second Class IV violation. This means that any subsequent Class IV violations would result directly in a lifetime ban.
*the offender forfeits one week’s pay in addition to the loss of pay for the suspension