Former AG to hear Watson appeal
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has handed off Deshaun Watson’s discipline case to a lawyer with league connections and expertise in domestic violence and sexual assault.
Goodell chose former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey on Thursday to hear the league’s appeal of the six-game suspension without pay given to the Browns quarterback, whose playing status hangs in the balance.
Watson was suspended this week by independent disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who concluded he violated the league’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women in Texas.
The league, which had been pushing for an indefinite suspension for Watson, wanted further discipline and appealed Robinson’s ruling on Wednesday. Watson had just finished practice and was still on the field when he learned of the league’s move.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the appeal gave power back to Goodell to enact punishment — something he’s done routinely during his tenure — but he instead chose Harvey, currently a partner at a law firm in New York, to hear the appeal.
With a background in criminal law, Harvey has advised the NFL and other professional sports leagues on the development and implementation of workplace policies, including the league’s personal conduct policy. Harvey has served as Goodell’s designee in other arbitrations, and he’s a member of the league’s Diversity Advisory Committee, created to improve racial and gender diversity across the NFL.
College football: Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley was arrested Thursday after turning himself in on a misdemeanor warrant for attempting to elude a police officer. Auburn assistant police chief Clarence Stewart said in a statement that Finley also received traffic citations and was booked at the Lee County Jail on $3,000 bond. The 20-yearold quarterback was later released. Auburn coach Bryan Harsin said Finley will practice with the team when preseason camp opens Friday.
Golf: John Huh has the lowest round of his PGA Tour career and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Huh shot a 61 on Tuesday in the Wyndham Championship. It’s the final event of the regular season. Only the top 125 reach the FedEx Cup playoffs and are assured a full PGA Tour card for next season. Huh is at No. 120.
NBA: Former NBA player Iman Shumpert was arrested at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport last weekend for allegedly trying to bring six ounces of cannabis through security. The police report says Shumpert told officers that the bag contained marijuana and “asked if there was any way he could make his flight” to Los Angeles, where he was supposed to pick up his daughter. Shumpert was told no, arrested for felony possession of marijuana and taken to the airport jail.
NFL: The Broncos signed free agent receiver Darrius Shepherd, who played for the Packers for two years and played this spring for the Generals of the USFL. Shepherd takes the roster spot after Broncos’ leading receiver, Tim Patrick, was placed on the IR with a season-ending torn right ACL.