New NFL Rule All About Image Not Substance

Mike Florio at comments on the implementation of a new NFL rule that bars college players with a record of certain types of crimes from participating in the Scouting Combine, attending the draft, or appearing at any other league-sanctioned event before they are selected:

“…Does it make a difference if players convicted of domestic violence, sexual assault, or weapons offenses are banned from attending the Scouting Combine? Teams will still find out everything they need to know about the player, and teams will still draft talented players regardless of their personal history.

“The only way to ever change that would be to tie draft-pick forfeitures on teams who give a player a second chance and who then fail to ensure that the player doesn’t get in trouble again. To be clear, I’m not saying the league should do it that way; instead, I’m saying that any other approach is window dressing and/or P.R. spit-and-polish.”

I think Florio misses the point. Window dressing is exactly what this is. The image of the NFL takes a hit every time a player with this kind of history shows his face at a league-sanctioned event. This is meant to limit that until it can’t be helped.

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