View Full Version : Due diligence blurs line of ethical behavior

04-23-2009, 09:02 PM
One year later, Tavares Gooden remembers the empty rooms, the trips where he went to meet with NFL executives, but at some point in the process, ended up sitting alone with a team’s psychologist.

They were the kinds of meetings where everything was on the table: his life, his relationships, how he felt about his parents, and telling questions about authority, money and women.

“I guess it was just to make sure you’re all there,” the former Miami Hurricanes linebacker said, recalling sessions with psychologists for the San Francisco 49ers and the team that eventually drafted him, the Baltimore Ravens. “I don’t blame anybody for doing it.”

In the wider scope of the NFL draft process, the league’s nitpicking into a prospect’s subconscious is hardly the most Orwellian tactic employed. Indeed, as guaranteed money continues to rocket upward and personal conduct remains a primary focus by commissioner Roger Goodell, the probing nature of the NFL has seemed to intensify – if not push the boundaries of ethical behavior.

Earlier this year, executives of three NFL teams admitted to Yahoo! Sports that they had used fake information to gain access to the personal pages of draft prospects on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Meanwhile, the use of psychologists gained more attention after former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford met with the 49ers and took exception to some prying questions about his parents’ divorce.

All of this comes only two years after one of the most eye-opening allegations in draft history. JaMarcus Russell, the 2007 No. 1 overall pick of the Oakland Raiders, claimed he was tailed for at least two weeks by a man he believed was doing work for an NFL team. Russell said his uncle had gotten a tip that the former LSU quarterback had been followed for a sustained period of time, including from a trip from Baton Rouge, La., to his hometown of Mobile, Ala., and back again. At first, Russell said he had a hard time believing it, but then the source described places Russell had been and the frequency.

“What the guy said sure did happen that way,” Russell said. “… I have to admit, it was a little strange, but it’s OK.”


04-23-2009, 09:07 PM
Perhaps we should hire the NFL to run our foreign affairs. LOL