As we inch closer to the start of the 2015 season, the NFL finds itself at the center of yet another scandal. It's safe to say the 2014 season was not a good look for the NFL. From the mishandling of Ray Rice's and Greg Hardy's domestic violence cases to the infamous "Deflate Gate," the NFL has been a den full of mishaps. All of this has been happening under the watch of current commissioner Roger Goodell. While it seems that most of the owners have been happy with his job thus far, some within NFL circles haven't been pleased with many of the latest scandals that he's obviously mishandled. According to a report from Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, at least one official has spoken up about it, pointing out the fact that the league had a chance to stop Deflate Gate well before it happened:
"As one league source with no connection to the present controversy explained it to PFT in January, past Commissioners like Paul Tagliabue would have informed the Patriots of the situation," wrote Florio. "[Tagliabue would have] warned them that the NFL is paying attention, that the league reserves the right to check the air pressure in the footballs during the game, and that any funny business would be met with a decidedly unfunny reaction from the league office."
This official, who spoke anonymously given his position and the sensitivity of the subject sheds light on a problem that has been going on for quite some time now. In fact, we can go on to say that the NFL's lack of accountability has become a serious problem since the beginning of Goodell's tenure as commissioner. This is even more evident given how Well's "report" from the Deflate Gate investigation comes out "after" the draft when we all know the league had this information well in advance and could have dealt out punishment to the Patriots before the draft, possibly taking some of their picks away. Richard Sherman stated last year that the "NFL has a conflict of interest" between Goodell and his "friendship" with some of the owners, Robert Craft in particular.
"Will they be punished? Probably not," Sherman said. "Not as long as [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell and [Patriots owner] Robert Kraft are still taking pictures at their respective homes..." -Richard Sherman
It's no secret that many around the league feel that not much will come of these latest allegations against the Patriots in terms of a viable punishment, and with the growing sentiment that there's a lack of accountability between the NFL with regard to punishing owners in the same manner that players are punished (see time frame of when the results of Deflate Gate were released vs that dealt to players) this will only increase the probability of teams taking up the "Patriot way" of obtaining a championship. "If you're not cheating your not trying." Who can blame them? If you can win the big one by cheating or manipulating the rules without getting the ultimate prize taken from you why not? The only way to put an end to all this ridiculous nonsense is to adopt the system of punishment seen at the college level. In College teams who are caught doing anything illegal of the magnitude oN what we see in the NFL lose their championship. Depending on the situation some may even lose scholarships of top recruits. I guarantee if you take away a ring from the Pats you will never see them or any other team for that matter "cheat" again. The fact that the league saw fit to make a rule change regarding their abuse of the "eligible/ineligible" Wr rules is just the latest fiasco in how the Patriots have yet again found themselves at the center of controversy. No team in the history of the game has been more responsible for changing the face of the NFL than NE has, and I don't mean in a good way either. It's time for the madness to stop. If the league has any "integrity" whatsoever, they should strip the Pats of their latest trophy and suspend Brady for at least 5 games. That's the right message to send to an organization that is not a "1st time offender."