Report: Matt Patricia, Lions Won't Be Disciplined for Sexual Assault Allegations

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia addresses the media at the team's football training facility, Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Allen Park, Mich. Patricia addressed the 1996 sexual assault allegation against him which surfaced in media reports. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

After meeting with Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions last week, the NFL decided it will not discipline either party following the surfacing of allegations made against the coach 22 years ago, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Robert Snell of the Detroit News reported Patricia and another man were arrested, charged and indicted for sexual assault in 1996, but the case never went to trial.

Per ESPN.com, the league wanted to discover whether the team should have learned this information prior to its hiring of the coach in February and if Patricia should have disclosed the information.

According to the Detroit News (via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com), the Lions only searched for criminal convictions in their background check.

"Coach Patricia was the subject of a standard pre-employment background check which did not disclose the issue," the Lions said in a statement, via Rothstein.

The New England Patriots, who employed Patricia for the past 14 years, were also reportedly unaware of the arrest, charge and indictment.

"I find it unfair and upsetting that someone would bring this claim up over two decades later for the sole purpose of hurting my family, my friends and this organization with the intention of trying to damage my character and credibility," Patricia said in a May 10 news conference, via Rothstein.

The NFL can discipline coaches and players under its personal conduct policy regardless of legal status, but the fact the allegation came before he was affiliated with the league prevented him from receiving any punishment.

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