Own­er­ship OK.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Nicki Jhab­vala Nicki Jhab­vala: njhab­vala@den­ver­post.com or @Nick­iJhab­vala

Roger Good­ell says the NFL does not have a timetable for the team to se­lect its rep­re­sent­ing owner among Pat Bowlen’s seven chil­dren.

NFL com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell said the Bron­cos are in com­pli­ance with own­er­ship poli­cies and the league does not have a timetable for the team to se­lect its rep­re­sent­ing owner among Pat Bowlen’s seven chil­dren.

“They’re ac­tu­ally be­ing very well-run. Our mem­ber­ship is very happy with that, and it’s con­sis­tent with the way Pat wanted it done. Pat out­lined that ex­actly the way it’s op­er­at­ing. From our stand­point, no,” Good­ell said of a timetable. “But we want to make sure that the team is al­ways in com­pli­ance.”

Bowlen, who pur­chased ma­jor­ity stake in the team in 1984, is still the owner, but the team has been placed in a trust run by three trustees — team pres­i­dent/CEO Joe El­lis, team coun­sel Rich Slivka and Den­ver at­tor­ney Mary Kelly.

The trust is es­sen­tially a ve­hi­cle to trans­fer con­trol­ling own­er­ship of the team to Bowlen’s seven chil­dren. The chil­dren will re­ceive equal stake in the team but only one will be se­lected as rep­re­sent­ing owner. The de­ci­sion is left to the trustees, who also have the author­ity to sell the team. El­lis, how­ever, has stated re­peat­edly that that op­tion is not on the ta­ble. The team will stay in the Bowlen fam­ily.

“I had the good for­tune of work­ing very closely with Pat Bowlen,” Good­ell said. “He was in­cred­i­bly in­volved in league mat­ters, and I think I spoke to him al­most ev­ery day. I got a real ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what he con­trib­uted, but also gained a re­ally good un­der­stand­ing of what was im­por­tant to him and the Bron­cos, and the way they did things was at the top of his list. He planned very care­fully for the un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances that we’re in.”

The trust was es­tab­lished by Bowlen in the late 1990s. In 2014, he an­nounced he would step down from his daily du­ties as owner be­cause of the pro­gres­sion of Alzheimer’s.

NFL look­ing at mar­i­juana re­search.

Good­ell said mar­i­juana and its po­ten­tial in treat­ing foot­ball-re­lated in­juries is “a med­i­cal is­sue” that the league is in­ter­ested in re­search­ing fur­ther.

“If pain man­age­ment is some­thing that med­i­cal mar­i­juana can ad­dress re­spon­si­bly, that’s some­thing that our med­i­cal com­mu­nity is eval­u­at­ing,” Good­ell said Thurs­day at a fo­rum at the Bron­cos’ Dove Val­ley head­quar­ters. “We just pro­posed to our union in the last month or so that we put some re­search money be­hind that to see how we could im­ple­ment that … if they can ad­dress pain man­age­ment in an ef­fec­tive and safe fash­ion.”

The col­lec­tively bar­gained sub­stance-abuse pol­icy bans play­ers from con­sum­ing mar­i­juana — they’re pe­nal­ized if they test pos­i­tive for more than 35 nanograms of tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol (THC) per mil­li­liter of urine — but many for­mer and cur­rent ath­letes have ad­vo­cated for the use of cannabi­noids as al­ter­na­tive to po­tent painkillers.

The NFL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion es­tab­lished a pain man­age­ment com­mit­tee to ad­dress, among other is­sues, the use of mar­i­juana as a vi­able and po­ten­tially safer treat­ment for foot­ball­re­lated pain. In past interviews, Good­ell has said the league will con­sider chang­ing the sub­stance abuse pol­icy when re­search sup­ports do­ing so.

At Thurs­day’s fan fo­rum at Dove Val­ley, Good­ell was asked about stud­ies on head in­juries and chronic trau­matic en­cephalopa­thy, or CTE. Most re­cently, re­searchers at Bos­ton Univer­sity ex­am­ined the brains of 202 de­ceased foot­ball play­ers and found that of the 111 that played in the NFL, 110 had CTE, a de­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease that is be­lieved to be linked to re­peated blows to the head.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the stud­ies and we ac­tu­ally not only ap­pre­ci­ate them, we funded a lot of these stud­ies. What we all need is more in­for­ma­tion,” Good­ell said. “There is one thing that is clear among this med­i­cal com­mu­nity, that we have a lot more ques­tions than we have an­swers. We need more re­search and I think we have led the way on that front. We’ve not only led with re­search, but we’ve led with rule changes to our game, we’ve led on aware­ness to the in­juries, we’ve led on how we can de­velop new equip­ment that will make our game safer for our play­ers.”

Andy Cross, The Den­ver Post

NFL com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell, left, shares a laugh with Bron­cos coach Vance Joseph on Thurs­day at Dove Val­ley.

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