• NFL Conduct Policy

    We get a lot of questions about what the Player Conduct Policy for the NFL looks like; we were forwarded a copy for review. See it now:

    All persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid "conduct
    detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football
    League." This requirement applies to players, coaches, other team employees,
    owners, game officials and all others privileged to work in the National Football
    For many years, it has been well understood that rules promoting lawful,
    ethical, and responsible conduct serve the interests of the League, its players, and
    fans. Illegal or irresponsible conduct does more than simply tarnish the offender. It
    puts innocent people at risk, sullies the reputation of others involved in the game,
    and undermines public respect and support for the NFL.
    Standard of Conduct:
    While criminal activity is clearly outside the scope of permissible conduct,
    and persons who engage in criminal activity will be subject to discipline, the
    standard of conduct for persons employed in the NFL is considerably higher. It is
    not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee
    of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to
    conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the
    League is based, and is lawful.
    Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct
    detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result
    in conviction of a crime. Discipline may be imposed in any of the following
    ? Criminal offenses including, but not limited to, those involving: the use or
    threat of violence; domestic violence and other forms of partner abuse; theft
    and other property crimes; sex offenses; obstruction or resisting arrest;
    disorderly conduct; fraud; racketeering; and money laundering;
    ? Criminal offenses relating to steroids and prohibited substances, or
    substances of abuse;
    ? Violent or threatening behavior among employees, whether in or outside the
    Possession of a gun or other weapon in any workplace setting, including but
    not limited to stadiums, team facilities, training camp, locker rooms, team
    planes, buses, parking lots, etc., or unlawful possession of a weapon outside
    of the workplace;
    ? Conduct that imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of
    another person; and
    ? Conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the
    NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL players.
    Evaluation, Counseling and Treatment:
    Apart from any disciplinary action, any person arrested, charged or
    otherwise appearing to have engaged in conduct prohibited under this policy will be
    required to undergo a formal clinical evaluation. Based on the results of that
    evaluation, the person may be encouraged or required to participate in an education
    program, counseling or other treatment deemed appropriate by health professionals.
    The evaluation and any resulting counseling or treatment are designed to provide
    assistance and are not considered discipline; however, the failure to comply with
    this portion of the policy shall itself constitute a separate and independent basis for
    Upon learning of conduct that may give rise to discipline, the League will
    direct an investigation, which may include interviews and information gathering
    from medical, law enforcement, and other relevant professionals. The League will
    promptly advise the NFLPA of any investigation of a player, as well as of the results
    of the investigation. As appropriate, the employee will also have the opportunity,
    represented by counsel and/or a union official, to address the conduct at issue.
    Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Commissioner will have full authority to
    impose discipline as warranted.
    Discipline may take the form of fines, suspension, or banishment from the
    League and may include a probationary period and conditions that must be satisfied
    prior to or following reinstatement. The specifics of the disciplinary response will
    be based on the nature of the incident, the actual or threatened risk to the
    participant and others, any prior or additional misconduct (whether or not criminal
    charges were filed), and other relevant factors.
    Unless the case involves significant bodily harm, a first offense will generally
    not result in discipline until there has been a disposition of the proceeding (or until
    the investigation is complete in the case of employee or workplace misconduct).
    With respect to subsequent violations, the Commissioner may impose
    discipline on an expedited basis for persons who have been assigned a probationary
    period. In such cases, the timing and nature of the discipline will be determined by
    the Commissioner based on several factors including but not limited to: the severity
    of the initial charge and later charge; the facts underlying the later charge; the
    length of time between the initial offense and later charge; and the player or
    employee's compliance with counseling and other programs. Following the final
    disposition of the charge, the employee will be eligible to apply for prompt
    reinstatement under appropriate circumstances.
    Hearing Rights:
    Following the imposition of discipline, the affected person will have the right
    to a prompt hearing, per Article XI of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the
    NFL Constitution and Bylaws, to be conducted by the Commissioner or his
    designee. In cases involving players, the NFLPA will be entitled to participate in the
    Any person suspended indefinitely or for at least one year may seek
    reinstatement beginning one month prior to the one-year anniversary of the
    suspension. As part of his consideration of the application for reinstatement from a
    player, the Commissioner will seek the views of the NFLPA, Player Advisory
    Council, and may consult medical, law enforcement, and other relevant
    Other Provisions:
    Covered Persons--This policy applies to all players under contract; all
    coaches; all game officials; all full-time employees of the NFL, NFL clubs, and all
    NFL-related entities; all rookie players once they are selected in the NFL college
    draft; and all undrafted rookie players, unsigned veterans who were under contract
    in the prior League Year, and other prospective employees once they commence
    negotiations with a club concerning employment. Clubs are strongly encouraged to
    communicate this policy to independent contractors and consultants and to make
    clear that violations of this policy will be grounds for terminating a business
    "Disposition of a Criminal Proceeding"--includes an adjudication of guilt or
    admission to a criminal violation; a plea to a lesser included offense; a plea of nolo
    contendere or no contest; or the acceptance of a diversionary program, deferred
    adjudication, disposition of supervision, or similar arrangements.
    "Probationary Period"-- Persons found to have violated this policy may as a
    condition of discipline be placed on a period of probation as determined by the
    Commissioner. If, during the period of probation, the person is involved in any
    incident that violates this policy, the Commissioner may at his discretion based on
    the nature of the original and subsequent incidents elect to take immediate
    disciplinary action and make any appropriate adjustments following a full
    investigation and resolution of the matter.
    Reporting of Incidents--The League must be advised promptly of any incident
    that may be a violation of this policy, and particularly when any conduct results in
    an arrest or other criminal charge. Players and club employees must report any
    such incident to the club, which must then report it to NFL Security at (800) NFL1099.
    Failure to report an incident will constitute conduct detrimental and will be
    taken into consideration in making disciplinary determination under this policy.
    Clubs are also required to report incidents that come to their attention.
    Assistance--Players and employees are encouraged to consult with their
    Player Development Directors or with the League's Player and Employee
    Development Department to obtain access to educational, counseling, and other
    programs and resources that will help in avoiding misconduct that may result in

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