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And Another Thing

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Precedent-ial

The Blob believes in being up front, so let's be up front: I was all in favor of this.

"This" being the NFL holding coaches and players accountable who flee college football to avoid punishment. So, along comes Roger Goodell, suspending Terrelle Pryor for the first five games of the season, coincidentally the same number of games for which he was suspended before he escaped Ohio State and the clutches of the NCAA. And along come the Colts, who hired Pryor's disgraced coach, Jim Tressel, then announced they were suspending him until game seven.

Great. Except I have a feeling this guy is right.

I think this sets a precedent that, down the road, will prove untenable for the NFL, if for no other reason than I suspect its legality is in question. I mean, really? The NFL can suspend players for transgressions they committed against a separate, non-professional athletic ruling body?

The NFL, of course, says it's not doing that, but its explanation for the Pryor suspension is ludicrous and its contention that Tressel's suspension isn't really a suspension is even more so. Of course it's punishing the two of them for what they did at Ohio State. And of course that's going to end badly for the League down the road, or at least that's my sense of it.

I get that the NFL has a vested interest in protecting the athletic integrity of the NCAA, since the NCAA is its de facto farm system. And that farm system is, let's face it, coming apart at the seams right now.

But the NFL needs to quit while it's ahead here. Or before some smart lawyer decides to cash in on what seems a legal misstep.

Ben Smith's blog.

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