Sunday, November 30, 2014
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of the Ray Rice affair came under scrutiny again last Friday when an arbitrator reversed his indefinite suspension of Ray Rice from the NFL for punching his then girl friend (now wife). While Goodell's various decisions in this matter are certainly questionable the real problem is he shouldn't be making these decisions in the first place. There are two reasons for this. First it is not a good use of his time. Goodell's salary is about $40,000,000 a year. Assuming Goodell works 2000 hours a year this amounts to $20,000 per hour. It is unclear to me why the NFL owners think he is worth such a salary but it is surely not to personally conduct disciplinary hearings. The NFL could instead hire experienced respected professional arbitrators who could be expected to do a better job for a fraction of the cost (probably $1000 per hour or less). Second it exposes Goodell (and by extension the NFL) to needless bad publicity. These decisions will never please everybody but by assuming personal responsibility for them Goodell is providing critics with a ready target and focus for their anger. This is something that could and should be delegated and Goodell's failure to this reflects badly on his management ability.