NFL Conduct Policy Still Not Set

The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 27, 2007; 12:36 AM

PHOENIX -- On the day Las Vegas police said they will seek felony and misdemeanor charges against Tennessee's Adam "Pacman" Jones, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said a stronger player conduct policy will not be completed at these league meetings.

By next month, however, Goodell expects to have in place the stricter plan and hopes to make some disciplinary decisions before the April 28-29 draft.

"It's a complicated issue and there are no simple answers," Goodell said Monday, adding he planned to meet with coaches and owners in a day or so to discuss player conduct. "We want to find out what is working well with the clubs and what is not working, get a set of best practices so they can implement them on a local basis."

"We're expecting discipline will be stepped up," he added.

NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw has expressed his support of a tougher disciplinary policy.

Goodell listed educational programs as a key step, and wants players to become more familiar with local laws. In the past year, such players as Titans cornerback Jones, with 10 separate encounters with the police, and DT Tank Johnson of Chicago, sentenced last week to four months in jail on weapons charges, have drawn headlines for their misconduct. So did nine Cincinnati Bengals who got in trouble off the field.

On Monday, Las Vegas police said they will seek charges against Jones and two others in a February shooting at a strip club. The league said it had no comment on those latest developments.

But the Titans released a statement:

"The club is deeply disturbed that the alleged conduct of one of its players has resulted in felony charges in one state and accusations of felony conduct in another state.

"Since the NFL is preparing to introduce a new player conduct policy, and since criminal charges and investigations are in progress, comment or speculation would be inappropriate. The club is currently reviewing its options with respect to the player."

The previous day, Carolina Panthers reserve guard D'Anthony Batiste was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor.

"I've spoken to over 50 players on this issue, and they all believe leadership in mentoring younger players is important," Goodell said. "That's one of the things we'll be encouraging. I'm supportive of creating a player advisory council that would give me some input, maybe even into individual cases."

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