Joint NFL-NFLPA Statement on Changes to Steroids Policy

The NFL and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on wide-ranging improvements to their policy on performance enhancing substances that include the use of third-party arbitration appeals of positive tests and implementation of testing for human growth hormone within the next few weeks.

The NFL and NFLPA are nearing an agreement on changes to the substance abuse policy that is expected to be announced when it is completed.

Key revisions to the program on performance enhancing substances are:

  • HGH testing will be fully implemented this season. Information on testing procedures will be sent to clubs and players within the week, and testing should begin by the end of this month.
  • Appeals of positive tests in the performance enhancing drug programs (including HGH) will be heard by third-party arbitrators jointly selected and retained by the NFL and NFLPA. Appeals will be processed more expeditiously under improved rules and procedures.
  • Discipline of players for certain violations in the 2014 league year will be adjusted to reflect the new policy. Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos, Orlando Scandrick of the Dallas Cowboys and Stedman Bailey of the St. Louis Rams will be eligible to return to their teams this week.
  • Discipline for violations of the performance enhancing drug policy (including for HGH) will be modified.

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NFL/LISC GRASSROOTS PROGRAM GRANTS $2.5 MILLION FOR NEW AND REFURBISHED COMMUNITY FOOTBALL FIELDS IN 15 CITIES NATIONWIDE

Awards add to $37 million committed since 1998, resulting in 290 neighborhood fields

Community organizations, schools and parks in 15 cities across the country will receive grants totaling $2.5 million to build or refurbish neighborhood fields through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program, it was announced today.

More than $37 million in grants have been awarded to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods since the NFL partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s leading community development organization, in 1998. For the past 15 years, Grassroots grants have supported the construction or renovation of more than 290 fields nationwide.

Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.

The 2013 funding cycle will include new fields, or field enhancements, in Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Covington, KY; Green Bay, WI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Philadelphia, PA; and Seattle, WA.

“The NFL Foundation is pleased to continue its work with LISC in improving the quality, safety and accessibility of fields in communities nationwide,” said Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, Chairman of the NFL Foundation. “The revitalization of these fields will provide safe places for communities to come together, “Play 60” and enjoy the many benefits of sports participation.”

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Week 3 NFL Capsules

For Week 3 NFL Capsules, click here

Week That Was – Week 2

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 NFL CELEBRATES BARLEY SHEAF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WINNER OF NFL PLAY 60 BUS CONTEST

 New York Giants and New York Jets Players Bring More Than $50,000 in New Playground and Equipment

 PLAY60 Bus Contest

The NFL PLAY 60 bus made a special stop today at Barley Sheaf Elementary School in Flemington, N.  J. The school is this year’s winner of the national NFL PLAY 60 Bus Contest.

NEW YORK GIANTS players STEVIE BROWN and JAMEEL McCLAIN, along with NEW YORK JETS players DAVID NELSON, TANNER PURDUM, RYAN QUIGLEY, and KYLE WILSON in addition to members of the Jets Flight Crew, boarded the PLAY 60 bus to deliver $50,000 in new fitness equipment and a new playground to the elementary school, donated by the NFL.

“On behalf of the Barley Sheaf School community, I would like to thank the NFL for its generosity. It’s a delight to welcome such positive role models who take an active role in supporting education and the whole school community,” said Dr. Becky Hutto, Barley Sheaf School Principal.

Thousands of communities entered the NFL PLAY 60 Bus Contest by writing a short essay and submitting a photo on www.NFLRUSH.com, describing how the NFL PLAY 60 bus could help the youth in their town be more active.

The winning entry, submitted by a member of the school’s parent council, detailed Barley Sheaf Elementary School’s limited play space for children with special needs.

“Around 25 percent of the children that use this playground have special needs including cerebral palsy, autism and downs syndrome,” said parent teacher organization treasurer, Amy McKenna. “They need this playground to help with motor skills, perceptual skills, strengthening and most importantly, self-esteem and peer interactions.”

To help students of all abilities get active and PLAY 60, NFL players and Jets Flight Crew members led students through an NFL PLAY 60 PE class.

In addition to the event at Barley Sheaf Elementary School, the NFL sent special NFL PLAY 60 activity kits to runner-up schools and communities that entered the contest.

About NFL PLAY 60:

Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $300 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 175 NFL Youth Fitness Zones and integrated programs into more than 73,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched. All 32 clubs activate PLAY 60 locally, with more than 2,000 NFL PLAY 60 events held annually. For more information, visit www.NFLRUSH.com/play60.

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AFC & NFC Notes — Week 3

For Week 1 AFC notes, click here

For Week 1 NFC notes, click here

Chicago Bears Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall Featured on NFL Network’s ‘A Football Life’

‘Brandon Marshall: A Football Life’ Premieres Friday, September 19 at 9:00 PM ET

“I say football is my platform, not my purpose. How can I use my platform to fulfill my purpose? I want people to say that he fulfilled his purpose.” – Brandon Marshall

The journey of Chicago Bears Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall is one of the NFL’s great turnaround stories. During his first seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins, the mercurial Marshall achieved immense on-field success, yet struggled with uncontrollable emotional outbursts and off-field issues. Yet through his diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, Marshall has been able to couple his success on the football field with a determination and passion to make an impact in his community.

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Week 3 NFL Preview

Two games down. Fourteen more to go.

Seven teams are off to strong starts at 2-0: Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston and Philadelphia.

“It feels good to be 2-0,” says Bills running back FRED JACKSON. “We’re excited about being 2-0 but we just have to keep coming to work. It’s a great start but it’s just a start. We know we have to keep coming to work and that there will be more tests throughout the season. But as long as guys keep making plays, we like our chances.”

The chances of making the playoffs after a 2-0 start are good but far from a sure thing. Since 1990, when the current playoff format was adopted, 124 of the 196 teams (63.3 percent) to start 2-0 have qualified for the postseason.

However, with 14 games remaining, there’s plenty of time to turn things around. Since realignment in 2002, nearly 60 percent of the playoff teams (59.7 percent, 86 of 144) started the season at either 1-1 or 0-2. That includes five of the eight division champions from last year: Carolina (NFC South), Cincinnati (AFC North), Green Bay (NFC North), Indianapolis (AFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East).

“It’s hard to win every week in this league,” says Chicago quarterback JAY CUTLER, who threw four touchdown passes as the 1-1 Bears overcame a 17-point deficit to win at San Francisco. “But we really can’t dwell on this win. There’s a lot of football left, so we just have to keep building on this and get better and better each week.”

The Bears are one of three teams to win a game this season after trailing by at least 17 points (Philadelphia in Week 1, Green Bay in Week 2). That’s the unpredictability of the NFL. And, since 1990, at least four clubs have made the playoffs each season that were not in the postseason the previous year. Will that streak continue in 2014?

For the complete release, click here

NFL Network’s Week 2 ‘NFL Replay’ & ‘Sound FX’ Schedule

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NFL Names Former White House Official Cynthia C. Hogan Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs

HoganCYNTHIA C. HOGAN, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Counsel to the Vice President of the United States, has been named the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, the NFL announced today.

Hogan will develop and implement the league’s public policy and legislative initiatives and work with NFL teams on local and state issues. She will be based in the NFL’s Washington, D.C. office and will begin September 22. She will report to Paul Hicks, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs.

“We are pleased to welcome Cynthia to our leadership team,” said Hicks. “Cynthia’s broad experience on a wide-range of public policy issues will help advance our initiatives in Washington and around the country.”

“The complex and compelling issues of interest to the NFL and the opportunity to help shape policy on those issues is a unique and exciting challenge,” said Hogan.  “I could not be more excited about joining the NFL team.”

As part of the White House staff from 2009 to 2013, Hogan analyzed complex legal and policy issues before for Obama Administration, including health care, financial regulation, information technology, privacy and other civil liberties, criminal justice, and national security.

Hogan led numerous special projects, including the Obama Administration’s effort to confirm Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court and also helped coordinate the Administration’s gun violence proposals.

Prior to joining the White House, Hogan was Chief Counsel, Staff Director, and Counsel for Constitutional Law for the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 1991 to 1996.

From 1985-1991, Hogan was an associate at Williams & Connolly. Her practice focused on federal grand jury investigations and litigation. She also was law clerk to the Honorable Edward Cahn, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Hogan holds a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and is a graduate of Oberlin College. A native of Cincinnati, Hogan resides in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two children.

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