Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Michael Vick Indicted--What Will Roger Goodell Do?

Michael Vick has been indicted by a federal grand jury. What is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell going to do now? It is one thing to suspend a less than marquee star in Adam "Pacman" Jones for behavior unbecoming, but it is a whole other thing to suspend one of the marketing hooks for the NFL and a man with a $100 million dollar contract.

While I can appreciate the delicacy of the situation for the Atlanta Falcons, I think Goodell's course is clear--Vick should be suspended for the entire season. Adam Jones has been arrested on numerous occaisions and he received a lengthy suspension despite having never been convicted of any crime. Vick has been indicted, but not convicted, of some serious federal crimes. What Jones did was bad, what Vick did was bad. Goodell cannot be seen as playing favorites if he has any hope of cleaning up the "thuggish" behavior of some of the Leagues Players.

The NFL Players Association also has to support Goodell's decision. Many of the NFL players are upset that a few players are giving the vast majority of good men a bad name. As some players have said, most NFL careers are four or five years long, meaning that the players will have to find work after teh NFL and can't afford to have some players giving all players a bad reputation.

What should Goodell do? Suspend Vick for one full season (preferably without pay) and send the message publicly that such behavior, or even suspicion of such behavior will not be tolerated by the League. If Vick and other players don't like it, they can find work elsewhere.

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