The Aaron Hernandez Matter Is Ongoing …

If I am reading some of the “legal reports” correctly, the issues involving criminal activities/behaviors by and related to Aaron Hernandez are now settled but the story is not really over.  Civil actions can proceed well after the time when “criminal matters” have been resolved; consider the wrongful death suit against OJ Simpson which resulted in a guilty verdict against OJ well after he was found not guilty of the double murder with which he had been charged.  If I understand the reporting that is out there now, here are some potential “loose ends” that may enter our consciousness in the future:

  1. The NFL and the NFLPA agreed to put any grievances either may have had until after the resolution of Hernandez’ criminal proceedings.  With his demise, those are now ended.  The grievances will probably not make it to a courtroom, but there are legal processes to handle such things delineated in the current NFL/NFLPA CBA.
  2. The NFLPA will likely seek the portion of Hernandez’ signing bonus that was not paid to him subsequent to his contract signing and his charging in the murder of Odin Lloyd – for which he was convicted.  The amount here is more than $3M.
  3. The NFL – and the Patriots – will likely seek to recover that portion of the signing bonus that had already been paid to Hernandez.
  4. The NFLPA will likely seek payment of the “guaranteed money” that was specified in the contract Hernandez signed in 2012 – money to be paid in 2013 and 2014 – even though Hernandez did not play in those years because he was incarcerated.
  5. Any money that the NFLPA might “win” for Hernandez’ estate will be subject to wrongful death civil actions by the families of Odin Lloyd and the two men who were killed but Hernandez was not found guilty of their murders.  His presence at the scene of the crime makes this sort of action by those two families possible.

The double-murder trial for Aaron Hernandez may be over and indeed Aaron Hernandez’ life is over; nonetheless, the potential for legal actions and subsequent headlines related to those legal actions continues on.

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in the petty pace from day to day …”  [Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5]

If the commentary above leaves you with a slight feeling of melancholy, this next one will leave you with your head spinning.  Once again, it involves the NFL but this time there are no gruesome details or cadavers involved in the story.  You may recall that Dean Blandino resigned recently from the NFL as the Senior VP for Officiating meaning that he was the one who oversaw everything about the NFL referees from assigning crews to games to making sure that all the officials were up to date on the newest changes in the rules and the points of emphasis for this year.  Then, the NFL Competition Committee chose to add to his plate the task of being “The Guy” in the central replay room that would deal with all of the challenged calls and reviewed calls in all the games on a weekend.

Dean Blandino needed that added task as much as former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutrous-Ghali needs another Boutrous.  Forget all the prepared statements and posturing, I have to believe that a large measure of Dean Blandino’s motivation to leave that job had to do with that new set of responsibilities.

Well, if you are interested in taking that job for yourself, here is the online posting for the job vacancy courtesy of the NFL.  Please take a moment and go there to read the Job Responsibilities, Required Education and Experience and Other Key Attributes/Characteristics that the person holding this position needs to display.

OK; now that you are back from reading that job opening, I hope you came away from it with a couple of the same reactions that I had when I read through it:

  • There is no indication of the remuneration one might expect from that job.  Would you be remotely interested in that job if the going rate was – say – $150K per year plus per diem when you travel?  On the other hand, would you be willing to risk padding your résumé more than just a tad if the salary range was “high seven figures”?
  • Reading the responsibilities and the required education/experience sections of the job vacancy notice, I have to wonder if there are more than 2 people on the planet who might be able to pretend to have all of those qualifications AND are still unknown to the mavens at the NFL who will be making the hiring decision.  Does anyone believe that there are really any job candidates here who are currently earning their livings doing things like installing carpeting or serving as wealth managers for clients who would have a clue where to start in this endeavor?

My solution to this “conundrum” is rather simple.  The NFL needs to hire TWO people and not ONE person.  They need a guy to do all the officiating scheduling and all the quality control and all the media relations/education activities.  Then, they need a guy to run the replay center from Thursdays through Mondays from early September through early February.

I would be glad to be the person who was doing the replay center work along with the techs and engineers who make all that stuff work.  I would be willing to put in the time to learn to call up all the relevant views of the plays in question and to make the call and live with the consequences.  I would not take the job of organizing and being the “face of the NFL Rules” to the public even for the kind of money the NFL reportedly pays Hizzoner the Commish – – $30-40M per year.

Finally, here is an NFL note from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:

“NBC headline: ‘[Tony] Romo hasn’t filed retirement papers yet (and it doesn’t matter).’  Um, so then why are you writing about it !?”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



One thought on “The Aaron Hernandez Matter Is Ongoing …”

  1. It seems there is an attempt to look at the CTE angle, which has some concerning outcomes as I see them. Recall that Hernandez was allegedly antisocial at Miami U as well, long before it would seem that cumulative trauma would have time to set in. Perhaps like a concussion, one really bad event is enough and that means there are thousands of players that are potential time bombs.

    I’m also not fully convinced about Hernandez’ alleged despondency, since he did prevail on one trial and was appealing the other. The possibility he would have been outed has more merit since the macho culture is very much alive in football. OTOH, it is also clear from the various descriptions that AH was not someone that was concerned about self image.

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