The rash of offseason NFL player arrests has not gone unnoticed by Commissioner Roger Goodell. While the NFL continues to grow in popularity, coverage of the on field product has been marred by multiple arrests for various offenses committed by a handful of players. With the number of arrests rising across the board, Goodell has enlisted the aid of the Players Union in an attempt to come up with solutions to a growing discipline problem.From CBSSports’ Mike Freeman:
The numbers are indeed somewhat troubling. Player arrests in recent years are rising, going from 42 in 2010, 44 in 2011 and 48 so far this year.
In 2010, there were 16 arrests for driving under the influence, eight in 2011 (some league sources believe this lower number is an anomaly because of the lockout) and 19 so far in 2012.
Goodell has spent some of this training camp tour speaking to players and asking for solutions to the problem. Before that was the meeting with the union.
Goodell says he wants to focus on eradicating two main issues: drinking and driving and domestic violence. The main way the league wants to do this, he said, is strengthen already existing policies. The league may also add some new ones, assuming they can work out something with the union. Both sides have pledged to keep the substance of their talks private.
The solution to this issue may be a strengthening of the sanctions players may incur when they run afoul of the law.
There is the sense that something will indeed get done and I also get the feeling that changes won’t be cosmetic. The union and league will take substantial actions, which include stiffer penalties for players who commit these crimes.
This effort rein in player behavior off the field should be applauded. It may be the only way to keep the Detroit Lions on the right side of the law (and I’m only slightly kidding).