Archive for September, 2011

Decision to Suspend Terrelle Pryor for Five Games for Manipulation of NFL Eligibility Rules is Affirmed

Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Terrelle Pryor today that the decision to suspend the Oakland Raiders’ quarterback for the first five games of the regular season for improperly manipulating the NFL’s eligibility rules has been affirmed. Pryor may be activated by the Raiders following their game at Houston on October 9.

Commissioner Goodell approved Pryor’s application for entry into this year’s NFL Supplemental Draft, which took place on August 22.  He was selected in the third round of the supplemental draft by the Raiders, who forfeited their third-round selection in the 2012 Draft as a result. Pryor participated in the remainder of the Raiders’ training camp after his selection.

Following are excerpts from Commissioner Goodell’s decision on Pryor’s appeal:

  • “Based on Mr. Pryor’s actions, I believe it is a fair conclusion that he intentionally took steps to ensure that he would be declared ineligible for further college play and would be able to enter the NFL via the Supplemental Draft. Taken as a whole, I found that this conduct was tantamount to a deliberate manipulation of our eligibility rules in a way that distorts the underlying principles and calls into question the integrity of those rules.”
  • “Mr. Pryor – not Ohio State or the NCAA – made the judgment that he was ineligible for college play, and then took a series of affirmative steps that were intended to, and had the effect of, accomplishing that result. Moreover, Mr. Pryor did so in order to avoid the consequences of his conduct while in college – conduct to which he had admitted and for which he had accepted a suspension – and to hasten the day when he could pursue a potentially lucrative professional career in the NFL.”
  • “This smacks of a calculated effort to manipulate our eligibility rules in a way that undermines the integrity of, and public confidence in, those rules.  Mr. Pryor made an affirmative decision to remain in college and play for Ohio State in 2011.  He later reconsidered and decided that he wanted to enter the NFL.  In order to do so, he needed to forfeit his remaining college eligibility and took steps to ensure that would happen.  Based on the specific facts presented here, I conclude that Mr. Pryor’s actions warranted imposition of conditions on his entry into the NFL, namely, that he serve the same five-game suspension that he had previously agreed to while at Ohio State.”
  • “In my judgment, allowing players to secure their own ineligibility for college play in order to avoid previously determined disciplinary consequences for admitted conduct reflects poorly not on college football – which acted to discipline the transgressor – but on the NFL, by making it into a sanctuary where a player cannot only avoid the consequences of his conduct, but be paid for doing so.”

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Week 4 @NFLFootballInfo And @NFLHistory Tweets of the Week

The following release includes the “Tweets of the Week” from the @NFLFootballInfo and @NFLHistory Twitter feeds.

For the complete release, click here

USA TODAY: Union “stiff-arming” HGH testing, “it’s time to move the ball forward”

The editorial board of USA Today in today’s paper expressed its disappointment with the NFL Players Association for blocking random HGH testing.

“The hype around human growth hormone — that HGH increases muscle mass, speeds healing of injuries and boosts the effect of steroids — has made it popular among athletes willing to cheat,” the editorial begins. “Never mind the drug’s serious dangers. And the fact that it’s tough to detect? For the cheaters, that’s a huge plus.

“All of which made the NFL and the NFL Players Association look good last month when they agreed to a modest, random HGH testing program in their collective bargaining agreement. But now, with the season going into its fourth week, the union is stiff-arming the plan, and there’s no telling when testing will begin.”

The editorial continues, “A few points are clear. If the union had so many objections to the current testing regime, it shouldn’t have agreed ‘in principle’ to start testing. At minimum, it should propose an alternative. The proposed program is modest. Far from testing every player, every game, it would start with weekly unannounced tests of five to 10 players on three clubs — all randomly chosen.

“And while tests are on hold, cheaters can prosper and players are endangered. It’s time to move the ball forward.”

For the complete USA Today editorial, click here.

NFL Encourages Fans to Join in Fight Against Breast Cancer

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today emailed fans a letter encouraging them to support the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” program against breast cancer. The letter is below.

To NFL Fans:

On behalf of the National Football League, please join us in supporting the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” campaign in October for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the third season in which NFL teams, coaches, officials and players will wear pink in recognition of the fight against breast cancer.

Just about everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. That is why the NFL is proud to join thousands of others committed to fighting this terrible disease.

Throughout October, all NFL teams will celebrate survivors, visit patients at hospitals and turn their stadiums pink to show our enduring support. Alongside our partners at the American Cancer Society, we will emphasize the importance of prevention by encouraging all women over the age of 40 to get a yearly mammogram. We know that annual screenings can, and do, save lives.

Thanks to the passion of NFL fans, we have the collective strength as a league to connect with millions of people and make a positive difference. Please support the American Cancer Society’s programs to help people stay well, get well, and find a cure. We can fight back against a disease that has taken far too much from too many for too long.

There are several ways you can participate in “A Crucial Catch.” Visit nfl.com/pink for the resources and tools you can use to get involved.

An annual screening saves lives. Let’s spread the word

Roger Goodell

NFL Rookies of the Month – September

For the NFL Rookies of the Month, click here

AFC & NFC Players Of The Month – September

For the AFC Players of the Month, click here

For the NFC Players of the Month, click here

Record 30 million fans tuned into NFL Network in September

Record primetime viewership up 27 percent for the month

All NFL GameDay Sunday shows on record pace  

Month boasts NFLN’s most-watched documentary A Football Life & NFL Replay

Fans got “Back to Football” on NFL Network in September with a record total of 29.8 million fans tuning into the network’s coverage – a 10 percent increase from 2010 – according to The Nielsen Company, which designated the September ratings period to run from August 29-September 25.

NFL Network’s primetime lineup – which features the flagship NFL Total Access, NFL Replay, Playbook, No Huddle, Sound FX and the critically acclaimed NFL Films-produced A Football Life documentaries – averaged a record 314,000 viewers, which is a 27 percent jump from last year.

All shows on the network’s Sunday NFL GameDay coverage – from TV’s first Sunday pregame show NFL GameDay Morning through NFL GameDay Final, the definitive 90-minute spin around the league recapping all of the day’s action – are on record pace. Collectively, Sunday programming averaged 282,000 viewers – up 11 percent from 2010.
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What to Look For – Week 4

For complete release, click here

AFC & NFC Players of the Week — Week 3

For Week 3 AFC Players of the Week, click here

For Week 3 NFC Players of the Week, click here

NFL games rank as 8 of 9 most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl

NFL Games Top Local Ratings in 25 Markets

After three weeks of the season, NFL games rank as eight of the nine most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl XLV.

A pair of Week 3 telecasts topped sports viewership last week (Sept. 19-25) with the FOX national telecast (mostly Packers-Bears) drawing 24.0 million average viewers and the Steelers-Colts Sunday night game on NBC drawing 20.4 million viewers.

Following are the most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl XLV:

Program Viewers
1. NBC Thursday Night Kickoff Game (Saints-Packers), 9/8 27.2 million
2. FOX Sunday National (mostly Giants-Redskins), 9/11 25.8 million
3. NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Jets), 9/11 25.8 million
4. FOX Sunday National (mostly Packers-Bears), 9/25 24.0 million
5. NBA Finals Game 6 (Dallas-Miami), 6/12 23.9 million
6. NBC Sunday Night Football (Eagles-Falcons),9/18 23.4 million
7. CBS Sunday National (mostly Chargers-Patriots), 9/18 22.7 million
8. FOX Sunday Single (mostly Chi-NO & Dal-SF), 9/18 22.5 million
9. NBC Sunday Night Football (Steelers-Colts), 9/25 20.4 million
10. NCAA Basketball Championship (UConn-Butler), 4/4 20.1 million

Locally, NFL games topped the ratings in 25 NFL markets. Following is the list of the NFL markets where football was the top-rated program for the week of Sept. 19-25:
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