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NFL's Disciplinary Process Needs Improving

The NFL has had a questionable year; it's about time they take a hard look at their system in place and figure out a better way to fix it.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been 18 days since Greg Hardy’s appeal was heard and yet there hasn’t been a ruling on the matter. This only furthers the notion that the league office has troubles with their judicial system. How long does it really take to make a decision? All of the facts have been collected; all of the evidence has been poured over so many times.

The process is broken folks and it gets more mind-numbingly painful with each passing day. Not just speaking from the Cowboys’ perspective, but others, too.  There is certainly merit in the NFLPA’s current contempt case against commissioner Roger Goodell. The inconsistency with their timing and disciplinary actions is becoming more and more problematic.

Harold Henderson is known for upholding decisions cast by the disciplinary committee, so why is this now a long-winded issue? Nobody expects for Henderson to side with Hardy and reduce this suspension. So, can we at least get the ball rolling on the next phase rather than take over half a month to figure it out?

We know that the NFL is the most profitable sports entity in America, but they don’t seem to understand that their actions are hurting the credibility. Blind stubbornness and arrogance has often fueled their decision making. Inconsistent punishments and reactions to public opinions have also led to them looking foolish. If you have a message of what is and isn’t tolerable, then you must be clear.

If you want to suspend a guy for domestic violence, most everyone would be for that, but just don’t cloud the issue with silliness. Consistency and organization is what the NFL needs most of all. Until they re-work their policies and standard operating procedures, fans will continue to question their logic. Where else is it acceptable to tell a guy he may not play in the Super Bowl if he rocks gold cleats, but then turn around and hug the owner of a team accused of cheating?

So what can they do? Consider putting together a disciplinary committee that includes NFLPA representatives but is separate from the commissioner. Not to say that he can’t strongly urge a decision one way or another, but his current judge, jury and executioner-style has not worked. Get a group of independent thinkers together and allow for them to create a better system that doesn’t make the NFL look elementary.

Take stances one way or another but make them clear and precise. Set some boundaries. Worry about public image, yes, but do not make it so reactionary. Take more steps to be preventative of unwanted behavior and social issues.

We all love football and especially the NFL, but they really could use a face lift.

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