With the NFL coming off of one of the most controversial years in its existence, the league reportedly added Todd Jones and Lisa Friel to the Special Counsels for Conduct and Investigations, respectively, Monday.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on the news on Facebook:
In essence, Jones will handle the discipline side, while Friel will oversee the investigations process.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with Peter King of MMQB.com about how the league is trying to continuously improve the investigations process:
He said teams not only will be required to report violations of the personal conduct policy, but also have a “continuing obligation” to report what they’ve learned from the team’s own investigation of the incident to the league office. “So it’s not just the initial incident,” Goodell said, “but if new information is something that they become aware of, they need to share that with our investigators.”
The NFL had to deal with the fallout of several controversial incidents in the past year, chiefly among them the handling of the Ray Rice incident.
But the league is also still resolving the Deflategate controversy, when the New England Patriots were accused of using illegally deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game. Many folks are intrigued to see how the league will handle the Greg Hardy incident after he was convicted of domestic abuse, but the charges were dismissed when the accuser failed to appear at the appeal.
Goodell and the NFL will certainly hope that appointing Jones and Friel not only improves their investigations and discipline process but also begins to rebuild trust in the NFL front office after a year that tarnished the reputation of many league officials—Goodell chief among them.