13 April 2014

NBA and NCAA: The new university agreement

                There’s been many discussions about the NCAA “One-And-Done” rule, whether it should be changed, how to fix it, and so much more.  I hear people say that the NFL has a rule for players to stay three years past high school graduation before they are eligible for the draft.  This is true, but it’s a safety reason, because the size and strength of the players in the NFL is drastically differently than those in the NCAA levels as a whole.  (There will always be the Jadeveon Clowney of the NCAA, but he’s the exception, not the norm.)

                To fix the one and done situation in college basketball, it would take work by the NBA, the NCAA, the student athletes, and the colleges together to make it work.  The NCAA has to be willing to accept the fact that if they want to keep kids in college longer, then they have to be willing to change with the times.  The NBA has the resources to assist the NCAA in giving the kids additional benefits they are looking for.  The colleges have the ability to ensure the kids have all the information they need to prepare them for life after college as they begin to prepare for the NBA.

                My proposed changes are structured to reward the student-athletes in basketball for remaining in college, while helping to develop more mature players for the NBA.  The players would be eligible to declare for the NBA draft after their freshmen year, however, not eligible to play in the NBA until after their sophomore year.  Teams would have the option to draft freshmen players with contingencies for them to return to college for their sophomore year.  If a freshmen player declares and is drafted he cannot be redrafted (in hopes of improving his draft pick status) unless he stays all four years in college.  The NBA team drafting the player would own the rights to the player for 2 years (sophomore and junior seasons in college if declared after freshmen season).  If a freshmen student-athlete declares for the draft and is undrafted they can either elect to sign NBA free agency tender or redeclare for NBA draft after 2 additional collegiate seasons. 

                The student-athlete would not be eligible to redshirt after returning to school without voiding their NBA contract (injury redshirt is available if injury occurs and coordinated with both the school and NBA).  The student-athlete would have the option to use NBA approved doctors to oversee medical needs, providing medical options that may not be available to them through school medical providers. 

                The student-athlete would receive 5% of the rookie salary they are entitled to during their sophomore season (if they opted for the draft after their freshmen season) or 10% if they opted for the draft after their sophomore season.  Example, Anthony Bennett declared as a freshmen and was the #1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.  Under my proposed plan he would have returned to UNLV for his sophomore season, where he would have received $221,845[i] for the season, which the NBA team drafting him (Cleveland Cavaliers) would be able to make monthly payments of $18,487.08.  This money could be used for things such as buying a car, clothes, traveling to visit family, or even helping their families with financial burdens (which is why several athletes say they declare every year).  Compare Anthony Bennett to Archie Goodwin, the 29th pick of the 1st round.  His financial compensation would be $44,350 for the season, or $3,695.83 monthly.

                If the student-athlete chooses after their sophomore season to return back to college for their junior season, they can receive an increase in their compensation from 5% up to 10% if they met certain requirements as a sophomore; requirements such as maintaining academic eligibility, no team violations, no NBA violations, and no NCAA violations.  If those requirements are met they would be eligible for an additional 5% increase providing them with a total 10% compensation for their junior season.

                The schools would have the obligation to ensure the NCAA and NBA both are kept up-to-date with all information surrounding any student-athlete in the program who falls under the drafted player status. 

                The summer months between school years the student-athlete would be eligible to participate in rookie camps with their respective NBA teams, participate in summer leagues, and utilize the NBA training facilities.  However when the fall school term starts they would have to discontinue use of NBA training facilities associated with their team.  During the college season NBA teams would not be allowed to have direct interaction with the players.  Any interaction would have to be coordinated through the NBA and the University. 

                In additional to the financial compensation the NBA would provide drafted players with insurance to cover them in the event of a career ending injury that might be suffered while playing in college.  The amount of insurance would be tied to the draft selection they received during their respective draft.  Meaning a number one pick would receive a higher insurance policy than a thirtieth picked player.

                Any player who shows significant improvement has the option to return for their senior season, and be eligible for the NBA draft again. 

                When a player completes their required college time and is ready to move to the NBA they will join their drafting team.  If the drafting team chooses not to keep them, the player immediately becomes a free agent, and welcome to sign with any team they wish.

[i]  Based on 2013-2014 NBA Rookie Scale

19 February 2014

NCAA: Civil Rights or Civil Unright?

                I’ve said for years that I felt the NCAA exploits college athletes and does very little in return for their services.  College athletes are expected to be at every practice, show up to every class they are enrolled in, make good grades, be involved in their school community to a certain degree, make certain community appearances, perform on their respective “playing field”, and above all else, do all of this free of charge.  Depending on who you ask, they will tell you, it’s a fair trade off for a FREE education.  Others will tell you that the NCAA has an obligation to compensate the student athletes for their services.  Regardless of how you feel about their compensation, or lack of, it’s safe to say, we can all make the connection that the athletes are “working” to put themselves through college- whether on scholarship, work-study, or loans.

                If the student athlete is working to put themselves through college, should they not be entitled to the same standards as the rest of America when it comes to working environments?  Mind you, I’m not talking about financial compensation; I’m talking about “workplace behavior,” and the conditions that go on in the workplace of their campus.  Student athletes are subjected to workplace harassment on an almost daily reoccurring basis.  Let me explain.

                Workplace Harassment is a Form of Discrimination: Further defined as, “Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal authority.”  It goes on to say, “Workplace bullying occurs when an employee experiences a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes harm.  Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of aggression is particularly difficult because, unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace is in the majority of cases reported as having been perpetrated by someone in authority over the target. However, bullies can also be peers, and on occasion can be subordinates.  Bullying can be covert or overt. It may be missed by superiors or known by many throughout the organization. Negative effects are not limited to the targeted individuals, and may lead to a decline in employee morale and a change in company culture.”

                I know, you’re thinking, “Where is he going with this?”  I’ll tell you.  I’m talking about when an athlete “suits up” for their respective team and makes their way on to their respective playing fields.  Whether it is football, baseball, basketball, golf, or any other of the many collegiate sports around the nation.  These student athletes represent their schools as ambassadors, as chairmen, and as stewards of the game.  However, if you take a look at what they provide to their schools and the NCAA, they are essentially employees for their sports, schools, and the NCAA.  The NCAA will say they are not; they are not entitled to salaries, unions, or other benefits that come with being an employee in corporate America. 

                Even as a member of the Armed Forces of America, U.S. Service members are not entitled to unions, but they are entitled to equal opportunity, equal treatment, and equality in their respective workplaces.  I’d argue that there’s no job in America more grueling, more demanding, or more challenging than serving a deployment in the military.  Whether it’s a tent in the jungle, a bunk in the desert, or a rack on a ship the conditions are never going to be as good as being home.  Still, even with the toughest working conditions you can imagine, and sometimes conditions that come under fire from the enemy, U.S. Service members have rules against workplace harassment.  If I drove up to a base today, began yelling and calling the sentry watchstander names, I’d be quickly asked to leave, if not detained. 

                Now, change that to a college football game.  College basketball game.  Twenty-five thousand to one-hundred thousand screaming fans, some cheering their team on to victory, some rooting for the other team to lose.  Most of the time, even in the sporting chaos that is athletics, it’s manageable and acceptable, but when does it cross the line and become workplace harassment?  If Johnny Manziel is walking on to the field at Texas A&M and a random, non season-ticket holding fan yells, “You suck Manziel” does that cross the line?  I think no, it doesn’t.  Now, what if the fan was a 5 year season ticket holder for Alabama, a fan who follows Alabama to every single game they play, and at every single game spends the entire game verbally assaulting the opposing team.  What if this fan always gets tickets right behind the opposing teams sideline so he can scream at them?  You might say, “It’s a football game, it’s the fan’s right.”  You would be wrong.

NCAA Fan Code of Conduct (FCOC) clearly state:
 Ø The following violations should be identified as actions that may result in sanctions:
 Ø  Behavior that is reckless, dangerous, disruptive, or illegal in nature.
 Ø  Demonstrating signs of impairment from alcohol or other substances.
 Ø  Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
 Ø  Interference with the progress of the game (including entering the field of play or throwing objects onto the field).
 Ø  Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel or law enforcement officers.
 Ø  Verbal or physical harassment of the opposing team’s players or fans, field officials, or stadium personnel.

                The NCAA clearly states that no opposing fan can verbally or physically harass the opposing team’s players; yet, the NCAA rarely does anything about it.  If ever.  Fans will get ejected from games if they fight, sure, of they throw things on the playing field, but when’s the last time anyone recalls seeing a fan removed for yelling at the opposing team?

                Now, take a look at the case of Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart.  On the road in Lubbock, TX against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech and the coaching staff has to warn the team before the game of a fan.  A FAN!  A fan that has for years verbally assaults and harassed opposing teams and their players so much so, that teams and coaching staffs have to warn their players of him.  That is not a casual fan cheering on their team, that IS WORKPLACE HARASSMENT.  The NCAA and Texas Tech both had an obligation to student athletes to ensure they were provided an environment that was free of this type of behavior, and they failed.  They failed their fans, their boosters, their supporters, and they failed Marcus Smart.  Making a legitimate basketball play, Marcus Smart’s momentum carried him in to the crowd behind the goal where he was subjected to this fan.  I can’t justify or support his reaction to the fan, but he should have never been subjected to it anyways.  Texas Tech should have taken the initiative years ago to control the fan and require him to watch the game in a manner that abides by the FCOC. 

                I think the NCAA and Texas Tech both owe Marcus Smart an apology for failing to ensure he, and any other opposing players, an environment free from this type of behavior.  Additionally, I think Texas Tech has an obligation to address this fan.  I’m aware the fan has voluntarily given up the remainder of this season, but it doesn’t alleviate Texas Tech from their obligations. 

                Texas Tech and the NCAA, let’s see you step up.  I want to see the NCAA protect their student athletes as they claim to be doing already.

12 February 2014

Hail To The ********

Hail To The ********

I want to start by saying, I am not, nor have I ever been a Washington Redskins fan.  In fact, I often find myself cheering against them.  It’s not because I have a grudge, not because they beat my team in the past, but because I just don’t genuinely don’t like them.  All that said, one of my favorite cities in America is the Capitol, Washington, D.C.  The Nation’s capital.  The history.  The stories.  The heritage.  The place where people have fought for civil rights, equality, and good ole American rights.  It’s different now though, the capital is now a place where people go to bully other people, pick fights, and impose their beliefs on others.
                Having lived in the Capital Beltway area, I got tired of hearing “Hail To The Redskins” during football season.  Not because I was offended, but because everywhere I turned, people were either Redskins fans or Ravens fans.  Growing up, I’ve never once heard anyone say the Washington Redskins team name and thought of it as a derogatory name.  The picture on the mascot depicts a strong Native American, his hair pulled back, feathers hanging from his hair, and his hair tied at the end.  Instead, I saw what I pictured as a child, the image of what Native Americans looked like when we settled this great nation and forced them out of their homes and off their land.  I always thought the name “Washington Redskins” was very symbolic- the strongest capital in the world with the name of the first residents of her land- what great way to pay tribute to original owners of this land.  I was impressed. 

On the other side, you look at team names like New England Patriots.  The use the name “Patriot” in conjunction with a Revolutionary War soldier.  Their reach is to link patriotism with a soldier who was fighting to secede from their host nation.  An act, defined in 1351 by the British, known as ‘Treason.’  Yet, here we are, hoisting this logo up on a team and accepting it.  What about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?  The logo of a pirate.  Surely given the number of pirate attacks the United States has had to fight off near Africa we couldn't possibly condone such a team name could we?  What positive message does a pirate logo send to society?
                Actually, that’s exactly what we do.  Our society has grown to accept the things that we should not, and reject the things we should embrace.  We claim it’s for “political correctness” and chastise anyone who stands in the way.  We no longer refer to people with mental handicaps as being handicapped, but instead we use the term “Intellectually disabled,” or instead of saying fireman, we say “fire fighter” because someone would come unglued if you said fireman and there was a woman on the force.  The first time I can remember in my life hearing political correctness was when no longer referred to Native Americans as “Indians” but instead we began calling them Native Americans.  In today’s society Native American is so common most never think twice about the original word of Indian anymore.  This drive for watering down our history with so-called political correctness has been carried over to Congress getting involved in any matter they can.      

               United States Senator Maria Cantwell  (D-WASH) is now leading the charge against the Washington Redskins and their “offensive” name.  She claims “The N.F.L. can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur.”  This same Senator though is Chairwoman for a committee called “Committee on Indian Affairs” which in its name uses racial or politically incorrect terms by choosing to use the term “Indian.”  How can you criticize another group or organization for their choice in names when you in fact Chair a group that does essentially the same thing? 

                I believe that with our nation struggling financially, people hurting for jobs, and our national debt the topic of many conversations that time, and money, could be better spent focusing our government on more pressing topics.  Why do I, or any of us for that matter, pay taxes for our elected officials to go off chasing a professional sports team over their name?  What does the name “Washington Redskins” have to do with our nation, our national security, or protection of our country?  Congress has better things to do in my opinion.  But, for those who think otherwise, let’s discuss Congress and their powers:
Among the powers specifically given to Congress in Article I Section 8, are the following:
  • To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
  • To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
  • To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
  • To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
  • To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
  • To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
  • To establish post offices and post roads;
  • To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
  • To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
  • To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
  • To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
  • To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
  • To provide and maintain a navy;
  • To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
  • To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
  • To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
  • To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles (16 km) square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.
One of many congressional powers is to "define and punish piracies on the high seas".
Other congressional powers have been granted, or confirmed, by constitutional amendments. The Thirteenth (1865), Fourteenth (1868), and Fifteenth Amendments (1870) gave Congress authority to enact legislation to enforce rights of African Americans, including voting rights, due process, and equal protection under the law.Generally militia forces are controlled by state governments, not Congress.

                I fail to see a connection to the Washington Redskins, Congress, and any of the above powers that Congress has.  I would much rather see my tax paying dollars going to something more beneficial like improving the quality of our nation, Veterans Hospitals, or maybe fewer congressional breaks.  If congress had to work like the rest of society, maybe they wouldn't get bored and need to chase professional sports teams over their choice of a name, a name, that frankly is no more offensive than the committee that is chasing it.

27 June 2012


"The Decision"  Arguably the moment that started
the "Public Enemy #1" Campaign for Lebron James.

The fall out from "The Decision" was epic for

                For a few years now Lebron James has been “Public Enemy #1” in the NBA.  A kid who hit the mainstream lights of the NBA from Akron, OH to a man who quickly fell from grace after announcing to the world he “taking his talents to South Beach,” to the newly anointed World Champion.  I have been of those who have bashed Lebron for years, constantly criticizing him over his performances late in playoff games, throwing jerseys after losses, and handling of the media.  Even this year, I bashed the Heat (mostly Lebron) heading in to the playoffs, and through all their series.  Every round I pulled for whoever the Heat played, and pulled for the media to get Lebron rattled.  Through the first 3 rounds I saw flashes of the Lebron we have all become so accustomed to seeing, fading late, passing when he shouldn’t, and not leading his team like a true superstar should.

Leavue Scoring Champion vs. League MVP

                The NBA Finals.  Oklahoma City Thunder.  Kevin Durant.  League Scoring Champion.  The NBA Finals.  Miami Heat.  Lebron James.  League MVP.  The 2012 NBA Finals.  Heading in to what would be a very one sided NBA Finals I fully expected the Oklahoma City Thunder to dismantle the Heat in 5 games, and crown the Thunder “World Champs.”
                With the stage set, Lebron James stood up, showing everyone that the crowned “Public Enemy” had been laid to rest, and King James had arrived.  Answering a game one loss at Oklahoma City where Lebron was outscored by Kevin Durant 36 to 30, he responded.  Game 2 came down to big plays in big moments, with Lebron leading the way with 32 points, 5 assists, and 8 rebounds to Durant’s 32 points, 1 assist, and 3 rebounds.  With a game that could be argued over calls that were made or weren’t made, the Heat pulled out a win to send the series back to Miami.
With one NBA Title under his belt, is the
pressure off Lebron to prove his greatness?

                Returning home, determined to prove the critics, naysayers, and possibly even himself, Lebron James delivered what could be one of the greatest NBA Finals performances for a series, all while leading Miami to the Championship.  Pushing the Heat to a 2-1 series lead, and outdueling Durant, Lebron took charge leading the way with 29 points,3 assists, and a team high 14 rebounds.  Game 4 proved to be a tougher challenge for the new Lebron, battling leg cramps that required him to be carried off the court, only to return later in true Willis Reed fashion, the Heat went on to win behind Lebrons 26 points, team high 12 assists, and 9 rebounds, falling just 1 rebound shy of his first triple double of the season.  The Heat had to resist a fiery effort from Russell Westbrook who lead the charge for the Thunder with 43 points, but falling short 104-98.
                Game 5.  Too much Lebron.  In what he called his own game 7, Lebron showed he can close out big games, collecting his first triple double of the season in true superstar fashion- 26 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds.  The Heat stormed away from the Thunder and never really saw them get close, winning game 5 121-106.

King James delivered on the biggest stage in true
superstar fashion.

                Lebron showed us that he can lead his team, he can be the leader that many of the greats before him were, whether he needs to lead his team in rebounds like Bill Russell did for many of the Celtics championships, whether he needs to keep feeding the hot hand of Mike Miller in game 5 the same way Jordan feed Paxson and Kerr on the way to championships, or whether he just needed to inspire the same way Paul Pierce did after returned to the game after leaving due to injury, Lebron fought through everything this series, but never folded once.  He shut out the critics; he shut out the noise, and just played basketball. 
                Is this the beginning of true greatness?  Was this success forged from chance?  Or, will we see the old Lebron again?  I think it’s a scary realization for the East;  Superman had kryptonite, but the Finals showed us that King James doesn’t have a known weakness, only a hunger for success.

Which Lebron shows up for 2012-13?

19 June 2012

A New Era of NFL Football: Bounties Galore

The NFL claims bounties were put on NFL QBs Warner and Favre

One of the greatest RBs to ever play the game,
Barry Sanders often frustrated opposing players
with his uncanny running abilities

I remember growing up watching NFL games on Sunday with my older brother.  He has been a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan for as long as I can remember.  I remember one day he was mad when his favorite player got hurt;  Rod Woodson was attempting to tackling Barry Sanders in the open field and ended up breaking his ankle due to all the turning, twisting, and changing of directions.  Barry Sanders was a remarkable running back, to say the least.  He could single handedly change the outcome of a football game, make grown men look like boys, and leave you asking the only question imaginable, “How did he do that?”  Never once did I ever hear my brother say he wished one of the Steelers would take a cheap shop on Barry, attempt to hurt him, or anything else that could have been perceived as such.  To think such a comment was unheard of, it was unsportsmanlike, it was just plain wrong.

                2012 has marked a dark day in the NFL, a time that should have never happened, an event that should have been stopped.  The New Orleans Saints were discovered to have used what’s been called “Bountygate” during a 3 year run of NFL play.  Bountygate was a program put in place by coaches and players to reward New Orleans Saints defensive players who knowingly, and willfully, enacted pain and punishment on opposing offensive players.  The NFL uncovered what it called “substantial evidence” that linked coaches and key players from the Saints leading this Bountygate effort, and certain players who were said to be critical players in the operation.  In my opinion, violence is a part of the NFL, just like it is in boxing, UFC, and the NHL.  Granted, no one in the NFL or NHL is going to stop the game, put on gloves, and go to blows for a few rounds, but the violence is there nonetheless.  Players expose their bodies to plays, absorbing hits of great force, and continuing to perform every play.  They do so because they have an understanding of sportsmanship, integrity, and a shared concern over player safety.  The New Orleans Saints have raised questions as to whether or not they are concerned with any player not on their own team.

NFL great Junior Seau is the most
recent victim of NFL trauma that
followed after the playing field
days were over.

                It’s recently been thought that the so-called violence in the NFL has lead to health-problems of former NFL players, players who played the game with a certain style, and then well after their playing days were over, blamed the NFL for their health issues.  In a way, I don’t blame the NFL anymore than I blame the player, but at the same time I blame both the player and the NFL.  Do I think the NFL should be held solely responsible for the player’s health problems later in life?  No.  Do I think the NFL helped contribute to the problem?  Yes- to a degree.  That’s a different topic all together though, because the rules of the NFL have changed over time, and for the most part, the safety rules are in place to help protect the players, not limit what they can do. 

                The whole Bountygate scandal has left a black eye on the New Orleans Saints and it’s players involved.  Do I think they are completely innocent?  No.  Do I think they are solely to blame?  No as well.  What I do think is this- I think the New Orleans Saints instituted a pay for play system in which the defensive players were given rewards for taking out “targets” in the NFL.  I don’t think there was a player on the defense who stood up once and said “This is wrong, we shouldn’t be doing this.”  Just like I don’t think there was a coach who stood up and said “Guys, think about this, it’s not right for us to do this.”  I think both the coaches and the players knew it was wrong, knew they shouldn’t be doing it, and knew that if they were caught they would have to face the music for their actions. 

                Whether or not Jonathan Vilma was the leader of the players in this scandal or not, is really irrelevant to me, as a fan.  What I do think is that as a leader of the defense it is his job to stop the offense on the field, and it was his job to stop the Bountygate process, or report it to the NFL, neither of which he did.  His negligence in the matter makes him responsible, whether he is willing to admit it or not.  Look at Penn State’s football team and the fallout from the Sandusky allegations.  Joe Paterno, the legendary coach, was terminated as the head football coach at Penn State because they said he failed to do enough about a problem, a problem he did in fact report.  (Granted, the situations are different, but the principal behind each is the same- the person, who should have done more, did not).

Saints players were on video claiming to want their
"money" for knocking out Favre

                What I do think is that punishment is warranted if in fact there were such actions taking place.  The players are quick to bash the NFL for not taking enough care of them, for allowing them to have health problems later in life, but when information like this comes to light, they jump up and scream the NFL is wrong in their actions.  I’m sorry, you can’t have it both ways, either you play by the rules (that you have forced on yourselves), or you find a new line of employment.  The New Orleans Saints, Jonathan Vilma, Sean Payton, and the coaching staff are all responsible for what happened.  Through all of this there has not been one mention of anyone ever raising concern of the actions, the only concern raised, from what I’ve seen on TV and in the news, has been players asking for their cut of money for injuring players, such as Brett Favre.

                In addition to all the uproar from players who have screamed foul for the NFL and the NFL not taking enough care of players on the field, is the current NFL players’ contracts.  If a player has a moral clause in their contract, does conduct such as Bountygate violate such a clause?  What would constitute a violation?  Just being involved?  Leading the efforts of Bountygate?  Having knowledge and not reporting it?  In my opinion, just having firsthand knowledge and not reporting it is a violation of the morals clause.  If it is illegal for a person to put a bounty on another person, then it’s illegal in the NFL just the same.  A bounty program by nature is 100% illegal in this country, and anyone involved in such actions should be treated as such, and their employment should be questioned, if not terminated.  Anyone found to have firsthand knowledge should be removed, whether or not they participated, because knowing and not reporting makes them just as guilty as the person delivering the action.

Again, I have no problems with the NFL, the violence in the NFL, or the way the NFL is played today.  If players want to be safer, then I’m all for it, but in the process of forcing the NFL to rewrite rules and change the way guys like James Harrison play, then the players have to help their own image.  If you’re going to say you’re not actively involved in a Bountygate scandal (Vilma), then you need to be the whistle blower who’s stopping it, otherwise, you’re involved, and just as responsible.  PERIOD.

Jonathan Vilma says he's innocent even
though he did nothing to stop the
"Bountygate" practices on the field