If the Houston Texans have in place set guidelines for how to discipline players who get in trouble with the law, said players don’t know about it.
In light of a recent flurry of player arrests and indictments (and in one case, a conviction), quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was asked on Wednesday whether owner Bob McNair or head coach Bill O’Brien have told players what will happen to them if they’re arrested, indicted or anywhere in between.
“No, not really,” Fitzpatrick said.
“Our meeting today was 100 percent focused on (the) New York (Giants).”
On the one hand, player misconduct isn’t something the Texans have had to deal with that often. Since 2000, Houston’s had only 11 players arrested, the least in the NFL and 33 fewer than the league-leading Minnesota Vikings, who today placed running back Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, forcing him out of team activities while his felony child abuse case works its way through the courts.
On the other, you could argue that gives the organization even more reason to have on-paper policies in place, given how little experience they have handling players accused of or arrested or arraigned on criminal charges.
It’s also possible that McNair, who on Wednesday told CNBC’s “SquawkBox” he expects all his players to be role models “whether they want to be or not,” has something set in stone but hasn’t notified players. Which would raise the obvious question: “Why not?”
But if the NFL has learned anything from recent player domestic and child abuse cases, it’s that inaction by the league and its teams is perceived as being almost as egregious as the actions themselves. It’s worth wondering, then, why even the NFL’s squeakiest clean franchise doesn’t have on hand a guideline for how to handle such cases swiftly and appropriately.
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