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NFLCA criticizes NFLPA's handling of bounty investigation

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By PFW staff

The NFL Coaches Association released a statement on Monday regarding the NFL’s bounty investigation.

NFLCA executive director David Cornwell issued the statement, which was titled, “The NFLPA’s Strategy of Blaming Coaches in the Bounty Investigation is Misguided and Inappropriate.”

“After destroying the best opportunity in the history of sports for NFL players to maximize the economic benefits of playing the game, NFLPA leadership has now turned its sights on destroying the bond between NFL players and NFL coaches,” the statement read, according to Pro Football Talk. “Its strategy in the bounty investigation has been to throw coaches under the bus to save the players involved."

The NFLCA criticized what it called the NFLPA’s “my coach made me do it” defense, calling it “petty and irresponsible.”

The players suspended by the NFL for their roles in the bounty program have appealed, with the NFLPA maintaining that not enough evidence has been seen by the players. Cornwell writes that the NFLPA’s “no evidence” defense “has been exposed as nothing more than a directive from (DeMaurice) Smith that players not meet with the Commissioner and not look at records uncovered in the NFL’s investigation so that Smith’s strategy of blaming their coaches would have the illusion of merit.”

In April, the NFLPA sued the NFLCA for more than $650,000, citing accumulated debt owed to the NFLPA after the players’ union offered office space, money and legal services.

Cornwell was a candidate to become the executive director of the NFLPA in 2009 and criticized Smith in a memo to agents in January.

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