Former University of Nebraska and current New England Patriot cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was sentenced to 30 days of jail and 100 hours of community service on Thursday for his felony assault conviction.
The assault occurred on April of 2012 outside of a bar in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dennard was involved in a scuffle that Lincoln Police were trying to break up. Dennard allegedly struck one of the Police officers during the ordeal.
Dennard’s jail term won’t begin until March of 2014. All signs point to the second-year corner being ready and available to participant in training camp and play in New England’s opening weekend game. It looks as if Dennard can now put this incident behind him and New England Patriot fans can breathe easy.
Not so fast. There is still the matter of clearing the hurdle that is Roger Goodell.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made it a point as of late to somehow blur the lines between the NCAA, the NFL and the law. Most recently, Goodell levied a 5-game suspension on Terrelle Pryor for the start of the 2011-2012 season. Goodell cited that Pryor’s actions following an incident which involved “improper dealings” with a Columbus, Ohio tattoo shop owner that resulted in a 5-game suspension by the NCAA were a deliberate manipulation of the NFL’s eligibility rules. Rather than serve the NCAA suspension, Pryor left Ohio State University to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft.
Talk about reaching.
Roger Goodell’s punishment of Pryor is the equivalent of hiring a worker and then telling them that they will be suspended for two weeks without pay for an incident that occurred while the employee was attending college. Makes sense, right?
Only in the wacky and weird world of the National Football League do people not blink twice at the human resource hilarity that goes on in that organization. It’s just something we’ve all just started to expect and accept.
Now we can only sit back and wonder what, if any obscure rhyme, reason or rule Roger Goodell will use to levy some sort of suspension on Alfonzo Dennard for an incident that occurred before he was in the NFL. Will he sight the fact that Dennard’s jail time won’t interfere with the NFL season as some form of rule manipulation that leads to a competitive advantage for New England?
Perhaps Roger Goodell learned a lesson about the reach of his power and authority during the New Orleans Saints “bounty” scandal. Maybe he’ll decide that the actual laws of the land are enough to govern all citizens, even NFL players, without him stepping in to make sure justice is fully served.
Wishful thinking, I guess. If history is any indicator, I’d start making plans for a trip to New York if I was Alfonzo Dennard.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON APRIL 11, 2013