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 Post subject: Sources: Vick suspension near
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:41 pm 
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By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
August 12, 2007

Jason Cole
Yahoo! Sports

Two NFL sources said that commissioner Roger Goodell likely will announce this week or next the suspension of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for the 2007 season.

"That's the direction it's going and has been from the time this started," one of the sources said this week.

In July, Goodell told Vick not to report to training camp in the aftermath of a federal indictment for his alleged involvement in dogfighting on a property he owned in Virginia. Vick has since been arraigned on the matter and is facing trial in November.

What is unclear is whether Vick will be allowed to return to the Falcons this season if he is acquitted. This offseason, Goodell suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones for the entire season but added stipulations that could allow Jones to return earlier if he clears his record.


Said the other source: "The plan was to make sure it was announced before the season. Given what everybody has seen from what (league) security found and what the feds are telling us, there's really no choice."

From a public relations standpoint, the NFL would like the matter dealt with before the opening week of the season. The feeling is that if the league can resolve the matter now, any further news on Vick will not detract from the buildup to the season.

The NFL has examined the indictment against Vick at length and has conducted a quasi-investigation of its own. The league has not interviewed anyone associated with the case, but it has pored over as many public documents as it could find.

The most careful element of the suspension is how it will be worded. Under the league's new personal conduct policy, there is some belief that Vick could escape punishment because this is the first time he has been charged with a crime.

However, Goodell hinted last week that because Vick was charged with multiple counts, including gambling on dogfights, the league may have a way around that. In an interview with USA Today, Goodell said that while he was disturbed by the dogfighting accusations, the gambling aspect is just as meaningful.

"Listen, we're sickened by the allegations and the predicament Michael put himself in," Goodell said. "But there are a lot of things in the indictment that concern the NFL that may not be of a greater concern from a law enforcement standpoint."

The NFL's gambling policy, which was established long before the personal conduct policy, has resulted in the suspension of players in the past. Both Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were suspended for the entire 1963 season after admitting they placed bets on NFL games.

Players can be banned for life for illegal gambling.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:44 pm 
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As I have said all along, the gambling issues was the real kicker for the NFL to take this kind of action.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:01 pm 
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On a legal level, yes, but the REAL kicker is the PR hit. If this were Bud Selig I would say he was just looking out for a crony owner. Goodell is trying to save Blank a little face I suspect. I don't see how this was ever going any other way. Precedent--and my opinion a bad one--was set with Pacman. At this point even on the football field they may be just as well served to dance with them that brung 'em. It never does anybody much good waiting for someone to ride up on a white horse and save the day....including the horseman.


Last edited by backnblack on Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:03 pm 
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This has been PR-driven the entire time. I don't know what the league's gambling policy is, but this possible suspension is still no different than any other they might mete out. THey are still suspending him based upon suspicion. Regardless of how overwhelmingly strong that suspicion may be, it's still suspicion.

It's surprising that the league may suspend Vick before the feds brought any former and separate charges related to gambling.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:30 pm 
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It will be a dirty move to do such a thing.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:45 am 
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If Goodell finds Vick guilty before Mikes trial on Nov 26th then either he's persecuting a man before he gets his day in court, or he's God. I will have to set up an alter to Goodell and pray to know some winning lotto numbers.

This is all still rediculous. They have SO MUCH info on what happens if Vick is found guilty, but what if he's found innocent? Goodell going to say "My bad Mike!" Hell no, they will point blame at everyone else. That's how we roll in the US! :P

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:57 am 
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guy0nthec0uch wrote:
If Goodell finds Vick guilty before Mikes trial on Nov 26th then either he's persecuting a man before he gets his day in court, or he's God. I will have to set up an alter to Goodell and pray to know some winning lotto numbers.

This is all still rediculous. They have SO MUCH info on what happens if Vick is found guilty, but what if he's found innocent? Goodell going to say "My bad Mike!" Hell no, they will point blame at everyone else. That's how we roll in the US! :P


Goodell isn't deciding guilt or innocence. He is just removing a league employee for a pattern of self defeating behavior that reflects poorly on the league.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:06 am 
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I think the issue that some people are mistaken about is that it's not whether Vick deserves to be suspended or not. There's good arguments for either case, and I don't really have an issue if Goodell wants to suspend Vick. I could see where the rules and regs can be manipulated/interpreted to merit Vick getting a suspension for a lengthy period of time. But this thing doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Goodell can't go and suspend Vick for what he's accused of and then not do anything to other players that are have trials pending. Or better yet, he should not.

This sets the precedent that anytime a player is charged with a crime that includes gambling, he must be suspended for an entire season? Or do you only get the full 16 if you have other charges against you as well? Is Vick getting the business because it's the feds after him. If this was just a VA thing, would he only get 8 games or 12 games?

It just opens a whole can of worms for the league down the road when other, and substantially lesser players are also in "big trouble."

But in thinking about it more, I think the league is under the false assumption that all the off-field issues are near an end, so they won't have to be handing out too many suspensions after this year.

It just all seems like the more high profile you are, the more skewed the personal conduct policy is against you, and less profile you are, the more likely you are going to be released.

Each day, I'm just becoming less and less a fan of Roger Goodell.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:43 am 
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Well then what the hell is he waiting for? Jesus to return his messages?

BirdBrain wrote:
guy0nthec0uch wrote:
If Goodell finds Vick guilty before Mikes trial on Nov 26th then either he's persecuting a man before he gets his day in court, or he's God. I will have to set up an alter to Goodell and pray to know some winning lotto numbers.

This is all still rediculous. They have SO MUCH info on what happens if Vick is found guilty, but what if he's found innocent? Goodell going to say "My bad Mike!" Hell no, they will point blame at everyone else. That's how we roll in the US! :P


Goodell isn't deciding guilt or innocence. He is just removing a league employee for a pattern of self defeating behavior that reflects poorly on the league.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:02 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I think the issue that some people are mistaken about is that it's not whether Vick deserves to be suspended or not. There's good arguments for either case, and I don't really have an issue if Goodell wants to suspend Vick. I could see where the rules and regs can be manipulated/interpreted to merit Vick getting a suspension for a lengthy period of time. But this thing doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Goodell can't go and suspend Vick for what he's accused of and then not do anything to other players that are have trials pending. Or better yet, he should not.

This sets the precedent that anytime a player is charged with a crime that includes gambling, he must be suspended for an entire season? Or do you only get the full 16 if you have other charges against you as well? Is Vick getting the business because it's the feds after him. If this was just a VA thing, would he only get 8 games or 12 games?

It just opens a whole can of worms for the league down the road when other, and substantially lesser players are also in "big trouble."

But in thinking about it more, I think the league is under the false assumption that all the off-field issues are near an end, so they won't have to be handing out too many suspensions after this year.

It just all seems like the more high profile you are, the more skewed the personal conduct policy is against you, and less profile you are, the more likely you are going to be released.

Each day, I'm just becoming less and less a fan of Roger Goodell.



The precedence has already been set Pudge, many years ago when Hornung and alex Karras were suspended indef. by the NFL for Gambling related activities. The ONLY way Goodell cleans up the NFL is by showing he is serious. Any wavering from his stance will be perceived as a weakness, and won't be taken seriously.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:21 am 
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Goodell is not doing anthying differently than many other employers. The company I work for has recently instituted a policy where I must report any situation where I am taken in custody (An arrest, indictment and/or incarceration associated with a criminal offense); the company will determine what action they will take which can include suspension or immediate termination before any trial takes place. When a policeman is involved in a shooting on the job, he/she is placed on paid suspension pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Bottom line, the employer has the right to take these actions. Remember, Vick is being paid and is only on suspension. If he is acquitted of these charges, he should be allowed to return. As far as PR is concerned, take a look at the actions taken by his sponsors (Airtran, Nike, etc.) They have summarily fired Vick already.
Bottom line, Goodell is not acting like God; rather he is acting like an employer who is placing the health of his company over the feelings of an individual employee but is making sure that the employee is not financially damaged. I don't know what more you could reasonably ask. Pudge is correct that Goodell needs to act in a consistent manner.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:00 pm 
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Oconee, you're right. But the NFL is not a regular employer. When the minimum salary in the NFL became higher than what 99.5% of the rest of America makes, it ceased being a "regular" company. Normal companies aren't consistently in "lay off" mode where they are cutting salary annually to anybody that wasn't performing at peak performance. If a company is constantly laying people off or making "efficiency cutbacks" would people say that company is particularly healthy.

Trying to fit the NFL to the normal standards of business in America won't work.

As for Hornung and Karras, unless I'm mistaken, both players admitted their "guilt" before any suspension was meted out. Also Hornung and Karras were BETTING on Football! So again, the precedent has not been set.

Now, if NFL security has done their own in-depth investigation, which doesn't seem like Cole's report indicates such occurred, but found sufficient evidence to indicate that Vick indeed was involved in illegal gambling, then I can understand their desire to suspend him. And I suspect as much will be made known to the public. But if they are simply basing this off that Vick is accused of gambling by federal authorities, then again this comes off more as a witch hunt, looking for anything that they can get rid of Vick for.

And denying that this is a witch hunt shows short-sightedness. The league has clearly shown their predisposed feelings of getting rid of Vick. Plenty of examples:

1) Banning the sale of his jersey. This is an unprecedented move. No jersey has ever been removed from sale, even from non-active players. I don't think it was impossible to buy a Rae Carruth jersey even after his conviction.
2) Not allowing ESPN to showcase the QB Challenge simply because Vick was in attendance.
3) An unprecedented indefinite leave of absence where they want to get Vick out of sight, and hopefully out of mind.

These are just 3 prime examples, and I'm sure others can think of more. Am I saying it's some vast conspiracy started by Goodell & Upshaw or whomever to get rid of Vick? No. Vick made his own bed, and now Goodell & Co. are just trying to sneak it downstairs in the middle of the night and take it down to the landfill that is 3 counties over.

They are effectively trying to erase his memory from the league, and have been doing so before meting out any punishment. Don't let your shared desire to see Vick punish blind you to the truth.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:29 pm 
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BirdBrain wrote:
As I have said all along, the gambling issues was the real kicker for the NFL to take this kind of action.


That's the hook allright. But the real problem IMHO is the depth of involvement.

3 scenarios:

1, MV is photo-ed at a dog fight.

- he does a press conference and apologizes and writes a check to the HSA and it's pretty much over

2. MV is shown to be actively involved in the infrastructure of dog fighting.

- same as before with a much bigger check.

3. MV tortured and killed ill-perfoming dogs and it appears that he took pleasure in it.

- no hope. People can understand a failing, but the last part is a serious character flaw. The gambling issue is a hook for the NFL, but the torture is the real problem. Did it really happen??? I dunno...but the Feds put it in the indictment and they wouldn't likely do that without proof.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:24 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
Oconee, you're right. But the NFL is not a regular employer. When the minimum salary in the NFL became higher than what 99.5% of the rest of America makes, it ceased being a "regular" company. Normal companies aren't consistently in "lay off" mode where they are cutting salary annually to anybody that wasn't performing at peak performance. If a company is constantly laying people off or making "efficiency cutbacks" would people say that company is particularly healthy.

Trying to fit the NFL to the normal standards of business in America won't work.

As for Hornung and Karras, unless I'm mistaken, both players admitted their "guilt" before any suspension was meted out. Also Hornung and Karras were BETTING on Football! So again, the precedent has not been set.

Now, if NFL security has done their own in-depth investigation, which doesn't seem like Cole's report indicates such occurred, but found sufficient evidence to indicate that Vick indeed was involved in illegal gambling, then I can understand their desire to suspend him. And I suspect as much will be made known to the public. But if they are simply basing this off that Vick is accused of gambling by federal authorities, then again this comes off more as a witch hunt, looking for anything that they can get rid of Vick for.

And denying that this is a witch hunt shows short-sightedness. The league has clearly shown their predisposed feelings of getting rid of Vick. Plenty of examples:

1) Banning the sale of his jersey. This is an unprecedented move. No jersey has ever been removed from sale, even from non-active players. I don't think it was impossible to buy a Rae Carruth jersey even after his conviction.
2) Not allowing ESPN to showcase the QB Challenge simply because Vick was in attendance.
3) An unprecedented indefinite leave of absence where they want to get Vick out of sight, and hopefully out of mind.

These are just 3 prime examples, and I'm sure others can think of more. Am I saying it's some vast conspiracy started by Goodell & Upshaw or whomever to get rid of Vick? No. Vick made his own bed, and now Goodell & Co. are just trying to sneak it downstairs in the middle of the night and take it down to the landfill that is 3 counties over.

They are effectively trying to erase his memory from the league, and have been doing so before meting out any punishment. Don't let your shared desire to see Vick punish blind you to the truth.


Hall of Fame post, Pudgester! :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:36 pm 
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agreed...nice post P. 8-)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:38 pm 
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backnblack wrote:
Hall of Fame post, Pudgester! :lol:


Indeed. Well done.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:18 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
Oconee, you're right. But the NFL is not a regular employer. When the minimum salary in the NFL became higher than what 99.5% of the rest of America makes, it ceased being a "regular" company. Normal companies aren't consistently in "lay off" mode where they are cutting salary annually to anybody that wasn't performing at peak performance. If a company is constantly laying people off or making "efficiency cutbacks" would people say that company is particularly healthy.

Trying to fit the NFL to the normal standards of business in America won't work.

As for Hornung and Karras, unless I'm mistaken, both players admitted their "guilt" before any suspension was meted out. Also Hornung and Karras were BETTING on Football! So again, the precedent has not been set.

Now, if NFL security has done their own in-depth investigation, which doesn't seem like Cole's report indicates such occurred, but found sufficient evidence to indicate that Vick indeed was involved in illegal gambling, then I can understand their desire to suspend him. And I suspect as much will be made known to the public. But if they are simply basing this off that Vick is accused of gambling by federal authorities, then again this comes off more as a witch hunt, looking for anything that they can get rid of Vick for.

And denying that this is a witch hunt shows short-sightedness. The league has clearly shown their predisposed feelings of getting rid of Vick. Plenty of examples:

1) Banning the sale of his jersey. This is an unprecedented move. No jersey has ever been removed from sale, even from non-active players. I don't think it was impossible to buy a Rae Carruth jersey even after his conviction.
2) Not allowing ESPN to showcase the QB Challenge simply because Vick was in attendance.
3) An unprecedented indefinite leave of absence where they want to get Vick out of sight, and hopefully out of mind.

These are just 3 prime examples, and I'm sure others can think of more. Am I saying it's some vast conspiracy started by Goodell & Upshaw or whomever to get rid of Vick? No. Vick made his own bed, and now Goodell & Co. are just trying to sneak it downstairs in the middle of the night and take it down to the landfill that is 3 counties over.

They are effectively trying to erase his memory from the league, and have been doing so before meting out any punishment. Don't let your shared desire to see Vick punish blind you to the truth.


You are correct to a point. This is not a "normal" business, but it is a business that lives by its labor agreement. It is an ENTERTAINMENT business. It is all about image. The NFL must protect its image to produce a marketable product. There are the same types of conduct clauses in entertainment industry - it is up to the employer to enforce them or not. Don't see many crying that Hertz dropped OJ prior to his day in court....

This is not about the hard core fans, but the casual fans - the ones that the NFL is trying to convert into hard core fans. It is about trying not to be the NBA and MLB with their shrinking audiences. It is about the next TV contract.

This is not a "witch hunt" (and whatever that means now - in the truest sense, it never was, because dog fighting is an actual crime and witches (outside several ex-girlfriends) never existed), it is about protecting the business and about future revenues. Yes, they are treating Vick different from other situations because it IS different from other situations. Vick is one of the NFL superstars and marketing phenoms. When they flame out, it is a lot harder to mitigate the damage. Sure Rae Carruth was a 1st round pick (I believe), but was mediocre and not the face of the franchise, let alone the league. I doubt that anyone would have even considered stopping sales of his uniform, because they probably were being bought anyway.

The cold hard reality of the world is that people do get treated differently depending on their status. There is some truth the old saying that "the bigger they are, the harder they fall." If Peyton Manning had done the exact same thing, the mess would be even bigger. Don't discount the human element that the Commish may feel that Vick lied to him.

The NFL has a image problem developing and harsh, quick action, may be what is needed. That or the execution of the entire Bengals roster. :D

W


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
Oconee, you're right. But the NFL is not a regular employer. When the minimum salary in the NFL became higher than what 99.5% of the rest of America makes, it ceased being a "regular" company. Normal companies aren't consistently in "lay off" mode where they are cutting salary annually to anybody that wasn't performing at peak performance. If a company is constantly laying people off or making "efficiency cutbacks" would people say that company is particularly healthy.


Whether the NFL is a regular company isn't the issue. The NFL players are a Union, run by the players themselves. Whether you like it or not Pudge , it still fits the definition of a company. A run for profit organization. The Owners and the Union have decided to give the players a certain amount of the profits to play for them. In the CBA there are certain guidelines concerning the behavior of the players.

The NFL has decided after a series of incidents that players in violation of the agreement would be punished with a maximum 4 game suspension. This is along the same lines as other sports, and in the private sector, depending on the Union you may be affiliated with.As it stands right now Vick has been just banned from attending Camp and the preseason. The NFL stepped in to wait for their own investigation to be finished before letting the Falcons, Vick's employer, from suspending him for the first 4 games of the year, (the max allowed). Vick is still being paid. The NFL is doing him a favor, giving him the valuable time to set his defense, and take time to away from the daily circus that would have followed him everywhere. They should be commended for their foresight and quick action, not vilified as witch hunters.



Quote:
As for Hornung and Karras, unless I'm mistaken, both players admitted their "guilt" before any suspension was meted out. Also Hornung and Karras were BETTING on Football! So again, the precedent has not been set.


Your original premise was that there wasn't any precedent concerning a suspension for gambling.....You said in the post above..."This sets the precedent that anytime a player is charged with a crime that includes gambling, he must be suspended for an entire season?"
My response was that has already happened with Karras and Hornung.Whether or not Vick has been convicted really doesn't matter in this politically charged time. Also the CBA doesn't differ from the type of gambling, as it clearly says that all illegal gambling is verboten. Punishable by a lifetime ban. Then again the NFL really doesn't need precedent to impose the death penalty for Vick, as long as the NFLPA goes along with it. That remains to be seen as events haven't reached that level just yet. Considering the current climate concerning gambling , Vick could find himself as in yet another situation where he is being made an example of.

Quote:
Now, if NFL security has done their own in-depth investigation, which doesn't seem like Cole's report indicates such occurred, but found sufficient evidence to indicate that Vick indeed was involved in illegal gambling, then I can understand their desire to suspend him. And I suspect as much will be made known to the public. But if they are simply basing this off that Vick is accused of gambling by federal authorities, then again this comes off more as a witch hunt, looking for anything that they can get rid of Vick for.

And denying that this is a witch hunt shows short-sightedness. The league has clearly shown their predisposed feelings of getting rid of Vick. Plenty of examples:

1) Banning the sale of his jersey. This is an unprecedented move. No jersey has ever been removed from sale, even from non-active players. I don't think it was impossible to buy a Rae Carruth jersey even after his conviction.
2) Not allowing ESPN to showcase the QB Challenge simply because Vick was in attendance.
3) An unprecedented indefinite leave of absence where they want to get Vick out of sight, and hopefully out of mind.

These are just 3 prime examples, and I'm sure others can think of more. Am I saying it's some vast conspiracy started by Goodell & Upshaw or whomever to get rid of Vick? No. Vick made his own bed, and now Goodell & Co. are just trying to sneak it downstairs in the middle of the night and take it down to the landfill that is 3 counties over.

They are effectively trying to erase his memory from the league, and have been doing so before meting out any punishment. Don't let your shared desire to see Vick punish blind you to the truth.


There is a very simple reason for this behavior by the league Pudge. The NFL is a commercial, fan driven league. The sponsors , the ad campaigns,and the incredible amount of money generated by corporate America far outweighs keeping a QB who is facing felony dogfighting charges. IMHO the 18 page indictment, with all the gory details was the last straw. But Pudge, you continue to speak out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand you say you understand that "Vick made his own bed", but then you question the response. If you understood the ramifications and the seriousness of the charges, then you would understand the response. The NFL can not afford to drag their feet here. ANY response that didn't include getting Vick off the NFL map would have resulted in tons of bad publicity, sponsors pulling out, stadiums being picketed and an overall malaise of the magnitude of a " us v.s. them "scenario.The NFL had to act as though it was serious. That meant taking his jersey down, not showing the QB challenge and not making Traning camp a three ring circus. They really didn't have a choice.

This is a conduct issue, not a witch hunt. Vick supplied the ammo. There wouldn't be a question of his guilt or innocence ,had it not been for the other incidents he was involved in.Vick also lied directly to Blank and Goodell at the draft. Manno a manno.....right to their faces.That was his one huge opportunity to get help, to bring the league and the NFLPA to his rescue. I will always believe that somehow the charges would have stayed local, vick would have plead guilty and paid a fine with some sort of probation. Him showing early contrition and offering up his help in exposing dogfighting would have satisfied the PETA people. But the "deny...deny and deny some more", along with the obvious obstruction of justice by the Bad Newz Bears Local DA (Poindexter)...led the FEDS and the NFL to get involved.

Pudge, there are many things yet to come to light here, some will surprise you...some will make you see the big picture a little clearer.This case will get even nastier as the trial gets underway. The reason the NFL has to suspend him for the year is clear. They can't afford to have Vick associated with them in any manner what-so-ever. This is just Economics 101.

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BirdBrain wrote:
Pudge wrote:
Oconee, you're right. But the NFL is not a regular employer. When the minimum salary in the NFL became higher than what 99.5% of the rest of America makes, it ceased being a "regular" company. Normal companies aren't consistently in "lay off" mode where they are cutting salary annually to anybody that wasn't performing at peak performance. If a company is constantly laying people off or making "efficiency cutbacks" would people say that company is particularly healthy.


Whether the NFL is a regular company isn't the issue. The NFL players are a Union, run by the players themselves. Whether you like it or not Pudge , it still fits the definition of a company. A run for profit organization. The Owners and the Union have decided to give the players a certain amount of the profits to play for them. In the CBA there are certain guidelines concerning the behavior of the players.

The NFL has decided after a series of incidents that players in violation of the agreement would be punished with a maximum 4 game suspension. This is along the same lines as other sports, and in the private sector, depending on the Union you may be affiliated with.As it stands right now Vick has been just banned from attending Camp and the preseason. The NFL stepped in to wait for their own investigation to be finished before letting the Falcons, Vick's employer, from suspending him for the first 4 games of the year, (the max allowed). Vick is still being paid. The NFL is doing him a favor, giving him the valuable time to set his defense, and take time to away from the daily circus that would have followed him everywhere. They should be commended for their foresight and quick action, not vilified as witch hunters.



Quote:
As for Hornung and Karras, unless I'm mistaken, both players admitted their "guilt" before any suspension was meted out. Also Hornung and Karras were BETTING on Football! So again, the precedent has not been set.


Your original premise was that there wasn't any precedent concerning a suspension for gambling.....You said in the post above..."This sets the precedent that anytime a player is charged with a crime that includes gambling, he must be suspended for an entire season?"
My response was that has already happened with Karras and Hornung.Whether or not Vick has been convicted really doesn't matter in this politically charged time. Also the CBA doesn't differ from the type of gambling, as it clearly says that all illegal gambling is verboten. Punishable by a lifetime ban. Then again the NFL really doesn't need precedent to impose the death penalty for Vick, as long as the NFLPA goes along with it. That remains to be seen as events haven't reached that level just yet. Considering the current climate concerning gambling , Vick could find himself as in yet another situation where he is being made an example of.

Quote:
Now, if NFL security has done their own in-depth investigation, which doesn't seem like Cole's report indicates such occurred, but found sufficient evidence to indicate that Vick indeed was involved in illegal gambling, then I can understand their desire to suspend him. And I suspect as much will be made known to the public. But if they are simply basing this off that Vick is accused of gambling by federal authorities, then again this comes off more as a witch hunt, looking for anything that they can get rid of Vick for.

And denying that this is a witch hunt shows short-sightedness. The league has clearly shown their predisposed feelings of getting rid of Vick. Plenty of examples:

1) Banning the sale of his jersey. This is an unprecedented move. No jersey has ever been removed from sale, even from non-active players. I don't think it was impossible to buy a Rae Carruth jersey even after his conviction.
2) Not allowing ESPN to showcase the QB Challenge simply because Vick was in attendance.
3) An unprecedented indefinite leave of absence where they want to get Vick out of sight, and hopefully out of mind.

These are just 3 prime examples, and I'm sure others can think of more. Am I saying it's some vast conspiracy started by Goodell & Upshaw or whomever to get rid of Vick? No. Vick made his own bed, and now Goodell & Co. are just trying to sneak it downstairs in the middle of the night and take it down to the landfill that is 3 counties over.

They are effectively trying to erase his memory from the league, and have been doing so before meting out any punishment. Don't let your shared desire to see Vick punish blind you to the truth.


There is a very simple reason for this behavior by the league Pudge. The NFL is a commercial, fan driven league. The sponsors , the ad campaigns,and the incredible amount of money generated by corporate America far outweighs keeping a QB who is facing felony dogfighting charges. IMHO the 18 page indictment, with all the gory details was the last straw. But Pudge, you continue to speak out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand you say you understand that "Vick made his own bed", but then you question the response. If you understood the ramifications and the seriousness of the charges, then you would understand the response. The NFL can not afford to drag their feet here. ANY response that didn't include getting Vick off the NFL map would have resulted in tons of bad publicity, sponsors pulling out, stadiums being picketed and an overall malaise of the magnitude of a " us v.s. them "scenario.The NFL had to act as though it was serious. That meant taking his jersey down, not showing the QB challenge and not making Traning camp a three ring circus. They really didn't have a choice.

This is a conduct issue, not a witch hunt. Vick supplied the ammo. There wouldn't be a question of his guilt or innocence ,had it not been for the other incidents he was involved in.Vick also lied directly to Blank and Goodell at the draft. Manno a manno.....right to their faces.That was his one huge opportunity to get help, to bring the league and the NFLPA to his rescue. I will always believe that somehow the charges would have stayed local, vick would have plead guilty and paid a fine with some sort of probation. Him showing early contrition and offering up his help in exposing dogfighting would have satisfied the PETA people. But the "deny...deny and deny some more", along with the obvious obstruction of justice by the Bad Newz Bears Local DA (Poindexter)...led the FEDS and the NFL to get involved.

Pudge, there are many things yet to come to light here, some will surprise you...some will make you see the big picture a little clearer.This case will get even nastier as the trial gets underway. The reason the NFL has to suspend him for the year is clear. They can't afford to have Vick associated with them in any manner what-so-ever. This is just Economics 101.


Pudge OWNED the dissenters in this thread. Can't change that fact with a diatribe of mumbo-jumbo.

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I wasn't disputing that the NFL is a business or that it has it's own by-laws to manage itself. I was only disputing the notion that Oconee (and others in the past have) raised about "if the NFL was a normal business, then..." The NFL is a company, but it is not easily compared to other companies like Bob's Pizza Shack, Wal-mart, T.J. Maxx, or whatever other company/corporation you want to compare it to. It's significantly different.
BirdBrain wrote:
The NFL can not afford to drag their feet here. ANY response that didn't include getting Vick off the NFL map would have resulted in tons of bad publicity, sponsors pulling out, stadiums being picketed and an overall malaise of the magnitude of a " us v.s. them "scenario.The NFL had to act as though it was serious. That meant taking his jersey down, not showing the QB challenge and not making Traning camp a three ring circus. They really didn't have a choice.

Clearly, the league's response has been in it's own best interests, which is far from an unreasonable reaction. But to say that the league gave Vick a leave of absence for Vick's own benefit is a huge crock. They did it to protect themselves and buy them enough time to find out a reason to suspend him.

It's seem almost certain the league will suspend Vick in the next few weeks. But my point is that is not a recent development, despite all the news reports to indicate such. That became a certainty several weeks ago when the league already started clearing the path by doing the things I described before.

And whether or not he deserved it or not is not the point. My whole point is I think it's unfair. Clearly you and Wease disagree, but it doesn't seem like a coincidence that you two are arguably the two people least willing to see Vick suit up as a Falcon this year. And on that point, I'm not shedding any tears for Vick. I'm a little disappointed because I believe the team that we'll field this year won't be as good as the one led by Vick, but my viewpoint has been clear that the long-term health of this franchise is not necessarily better with Vick. But I'm putting my football viewpoints aside on this particularly area for a brief moment.

You can justify all you want that because Vick is such a unique case (which I won't deny) that he deserves a unique response (which of course is perfectly logical). But it still doesn't change the fact that I think the league is giving him a raw deal.

Perhaps witch hunt was the wrong term, Wease, I should have said railroading. Within 48 hours of that indictment being handed down, I believe that Goodell and league had already made their decision about what to do with Vick. It was just a matter of time before they found sufficient evidence to justify it. If they could have made this decision 4 weeks ago, they would have.


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Making the assumption that the Falcons will be worse off without Vick than with him is just that.... an assumption, not based on any facts. We have a new coach, with a new system ,a new draft class, and a few good free agents. We will never know what Vick would or would not have done. Unless he comes back and plays. It is well known that Vick didn't fit Petrino's idea of an NFL QB in his system. Or as far as I'm concerned in most systems. Joey may turn out to be better...or he may be worse....the bottom line is we don't know yet...as we have yet to play a real game. But one thing is perfectly clear. There is no way that Vick could have played, or been with the team under the current circumstances....PERIOD.


This whole "Vick is getting railroaded" is laughable. As I have pointed out before in quite a few posts, Vick had every opportunity to use the system to his advantage, he declined to do this as he was badly informed by his "country" people on how to approach the situation. Vick lied to both his boss, and the commish. I'm positive his "country lawyers" tried to work their magic with Poindexter, causing him to drag his feet...give out false information and thwart warrants from being executed. Had Vick done just a few things different, he wouldn't be in the situation he is in today.

Vick also wouldn't be in this situation had he not not violated the league conduct policy, outlined in the CBA. And did it in such a manner as to pick the one crime that would alienate and piss off 75% of America. The NFL and the Falcons had no viable choice other than to suspend him. The huggers still don't get it. They keep looking for the smoking man on the grassy knoll. This isn't about if one "likes Vick" or not. It isn't about Black vs White.....it is about a man who screwed up and his employer making a decision to let him go based upon those criminal charges. PERIOD.......

The reason that Wease and I feel the way we do has nothing to do with Vick ever playing for the Falcons again. We have both gone on record, (when this dogfighting first came to light in April) many times saying we hoped he would be able to play this year. It is because we don't have blinders on, developed a perspective and a non-biased approach to the situation. I can't blame the huggers for standing up for their guy, interjecting the "Vick is a victim" defense whenever they see fit. Loyalty to ones hero, and to ones "face of the franchise" is a common reaction. Just pull your heads out of the sand long enough to realize that this could have all been prevented had Vick decided a few years ago to concentrate on Football instead of committing felonies. It was obvious he was distracted by something...now we know what it was.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:13 pm 
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No, BB I don't buy it. I don't buy that your opinion of Vick that existed long before anybody had ever heard of 1915 Moonlight Road is not influencing your opinion today.

You're missing my point. The league had already decided the verdict on Vick well before the then went to metaphorical trial. Vick was guilty from the start without a chance to be proven innocent.

The public outcry against VIck that occurred in those first few days following July 17 caused this reaction by the league. Surprising? No. But rather than carefully considering their options, the league adopted a policy of railroading in which they set in motion the events that were to come: which is Vick's suspension.

It's obvious that you either don't see this or refuse to see this. I'm betting that's because of your feelings towards Vick, as I mentioned before.

You're right, Vick could have avoided this situation by fessing up earlier back in May. But frankly, you even admit that at the time, Vick was likely to get off. If this had never become a federal case, you yourself said that probably nothing major would have come of it.

So who now is double-talking? Or rather using hindsight to indicate what should have happened?

Now I'm sure that you're going to counter that Vick had 6 weeks after which the feds got involved to sing a different tune on the matter. And I won't dispute that. But the issue really is not what Vick, the feds, Gerald Poindexter, did or did not do over the past 4 months but instead what the NFL has done over the past one.

You can say all you want about the public reaction to this forced the NFL's hand. Perhaps it did, perhaps it didn't. I don't know what would have happened if the league had taken a measured approach to this issue. We can only make non-factual assumptions. We all know that the NFL is roughly a $5 billion industry. Would a few protests in Atlanta and the doomed season of 1 NFL team really hurt that? Would the NFL not still be #1 in the majority of people's eyes if the league had done what it always had done and let the legal process play out?

It is my belief that the personal conduct policy instituted by Roger Goodell over the past 5 months treats players of higher profile differently than average or fringe NFL players. And it's difference is negative. Goodell has been in the habit of making examples out of specific players more so than instituted a policy that will be a blanket for the entire league. Pacman, Chris Henry, Tank, and now Vick are the examples being made. Is it a coincidence that the players that have been most harshly treated by this policy are all high profile players, while oddly enough a player by the name of Jared Allen, who was initially disciplined had his suspension lessened. Coincidence? Perhaps. It just seems odd that a player that is arguably better than all 4 of those other guys, but just so happens to have a very low public profile particularly in the media rich east coast, actually got his initial sentence lessened.

It just seems odd to me that the commissioner would issue 2 statements over the past 4 months which would seem to indicate that what the league is doing now is contrary to their initial viewpoints. Months ago, the league said the new conduct policy was unlikely to discipline Vick because it was geared towards repeat offenders. Then when Vick was indicted, it said that Vick deserved his due process.

It doesn't seem odd to you at all the league did 3 unprecedented things involving Vick this summer? And don't give me that cop-out that this is an unprecedented circumstance for the league. Vick isn't the first nor will h be the last high profile NFL player to face legal issues. Are we simply going to say it's acceptable that Michael Vick is treated differently under the conduct policy than Babs, Joey Porter, or Richard Seigler? Is there now a hierarchy in the crimes committed by players, whether it's murder, rape, dogfighting, assault, prostitution, etc.?


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From the very first post concerning the Dogfighting allegations you have been in denial Pudge.

http://www.falcfans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4210

As far as you saying that my bias concerning Vick bleeds over into whether i think he is guilty or not, here is my first real comment on the case. Notice that i said then that this wasn't about Vick's on the field problems, but the fact that this is a serious accusation, which should be rather easy to prove.

http://www.falcfans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4306

The bias of which you speak is an interesting thing. I can't claim that some bias doesn't bleed into the way I approach an issue. But take it from someone who spent close to 20 years interviewing all sorts of heinous criminals, and yet you have to remain unbiased when doing the appropriate counseling/testing. I have always maintained that I liked Vick. I just didn't like him being our QB. So your accusations hold no water.

Quote:
Pudge said: "You're right, Vick could have avoided this situation by fessing up earlier back in May. But frankly, you even admit that at the time, Vick was likely to get off. If this had never become a federal case, you yourself said that probably nothing major would have come of it.

So who now is double-talking? Or rather using hindsight to indicate what should have happened? "


http://www.falcfans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4408


As you can see by this post by you in May, it was you who said that nothing major would come from it, not I. I always maintained that something would come from it, from the very start. You really can't accuse me of "double talk", as i have maintained since we drafted Vick that it was a mistake....and i have maintained from the beginning that it was only a matter of time before the evidence would result in some type of charges.


The league could not have taken any other course of action concerning the case, once the indictment came down. There is no railroading going on here,just a process of implementing a new conduct policy approved by the NFLPA and even by Vick himself. The charges against Vick carry the extra weight because of the brutality of the crimes, and the star quality of the criminal. Vick's athletic arrogance is now just plain arrogance. His inability to see reality, and not surround himself with "friends" who only liked him for his fame and money will go down as his major downfall.

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Sorry for the delay in reading these posts. I was simply slammed at work. This has been an intelligent discourse (the reason for visiting this site so often), and as many have alluded to I agree that Pudge makes logical points.
Back to the original point, whether the actions taken against Vick before he has been proven (or pleaded) guilty, I still believe that the League has acted appropriately. I certainly agree with dbnw that the NFL is an entertainment company, they produce no other product. Their actions must reflect the need to maintain the product, which depends on the emotional connection of the customers to the product. This particular issue has created a severely negative response on the part of the customers, so the NFL had to take aggressive action. I agree that if the player in question had not been one of the most visible representatives of the company the response would have been different (or non-existant, see Babineaux's situation). That is an appropriate response to protect the Product. A couple of examples of what can happen when the public emotion shifts suddenly: Mel Gibson and Jimmy the Greek Snyder. Both simply made unpopular statements, broke no laws and were independent entities. Jimmy the Greek simply disappeared. His very livelihood was taken from him because after the incident he became radioactive, no one would touch him. Mel Gibson has also largely disappeared and has had his livelihood reduced. I believe that the NFL feared the same reaction to their product if they had not taken aggressive action in the Vick matter. Visualize animal rights groups protesting outside every venue that Vick might show up at (as a representative of the NFL). The damage would not be restricted to only one club, but would include every club Vick approached.
Again, the NFL held Vick out of participation and demanded that the Falcons continue to pay him. If they had suspended without pay at this point in the investigation/legal process, I would agree that Vick was being poorly treated.


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Oconee wrote:
Sorry for the delay in reading these posts. I was simply slammed at work. This has been an intelligent discourse (the reason for visiting this site so often), and as many have alluded to I agree that Pudge makes logical points.
Back to the original point, whether the actions taken against Vick before he has been proven (or pleaded) guilty, I still believe that the League has acted appropriately. I certainly agree with dbnw that the NFL is an entertainment company, they produce no other product. Their actions must reflect the need to maintain the product, which depends on the emotional connection of the customers to the product. This particular issue has created a severely negative response on the part of the customers, so the NFL had to take aggressive action. I agree that if the player in question had not been one of the most visible representatives of the company the response would have been different (or non-existant, see Babineaux's situation). That is an appropriate response to protect the Product. A couple of examples of what can happen when the public emotion shifts suddenly: Mel Gibson and Jimmy the Greek Snyder. Both simply made unpopular statements, broke no laws and were independent entities. Jimmy the Greek simply disappeared. His very livelihood was taken from him because after the incident he became radioactive, no one would touch him. Mel Gibson has also largely disappeared and has had his livelihood reduced. I believe that the NFL feared the same reaction to their product if they had not taken aggressive action in the Vick matter. Visualize animal rights groups protesting outside every venue that Vick might show up at (as a representative of the NFL). The damage would not be restricted to only one club, but would include every club Vick approached.
Again, the NFL held Vick out of participation and demanded that the Falcons continue to pay him. If they had suspended without pay at this point in the investigation/legal process, I would agree that Vick was being poorly treated.


The only thing I disagree with is the last sentence with one caveat - until their own investigation is done. Once that is complete, they will have more than enough to do what the evidence leads them to do.

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