Sunday, June 27, 2010

NFL Needs To Hold Tom Lewand Accountable For DUI Charge

Although the details about Lion team president Tom Lewand's arrest on suspicion of drunk driving Friday in Roscommon County remain sketchy, this much is clear: He must, at a minimum, be held to the same standard of NFL players.

That means disciplinary action by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. There cannot be a double-standard for those in the front office - especially at such a high level.

Lewand is the team president. At the very top of the organizational chart. Topped only by the owner. He is supposed to set an example with sound leadership.

The timing is particularly disturbing. I have heard over and over this is the time of the year when NFL officials are the most concerned about players off the field.

It is between the off season workout program and the start of training camp. It's common for the players to be reminded to stay out of trouble at this time of the year by coaches and team officials. Well, here's the highest team official getting in trouble at this time of year.

Another disconcerting factor from the Lions' standpoint is that, for the most part, since becoming team president, Lewand has been a steady hand on the wheel.

The Lions have received many kudos for their two draft classes under his watch. Jim Schwartz appears to have been a good selection for head coach. The Lions have yet to start winning, but are at least headed back upward after the 0-16 disaster of 2008.

The Lions' past struggles aside, I have usually found Lewand to be one of things that was right about the organization. He is a good contract negotiator. He does a good job with the business end of their operation. He doesn't have a football background, but does have a good understanding of the game. He is a local guy with a good feel for this area and its people. He was integral in getting Ford Field constructed.

It was a good sign he accepted responsibility for this immediately in a written statement. Now it's the NFL's turn to hold him accountable. If the league doesn't, the message will be telling and hurtful to its reputation.



Anonymous Rosie Barnes said...

Proof positive that negotiating a contract with Eugene Parker will drive a man to drink.

12:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Rosie Barnes,
Know u are joking, but it is misbguided. I don't think this is a joking matter on any level.

1:38 PM 

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