Our standards are set in stone and frankly I think that's the best way to do it. The Commissioner obviously has discretion to alter the discipline, but it is not the type of discretion that is used lightly. It is better in our view to have a defined system with delineated consequences that occur from the use of a prohibited substance. For example, a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance nets a four-game suspension without pay. That is the rule for a first violation and everybody knows it. And when it happens to you, you will be treated the same way as other players were. So the players, I think, while they may not necessarily want it to be that severe, are appreciative of the fact that it doesn't matter whether you are the last guy on the bench or whether you are an All-Pro. If it happens, that's the punishment and you have to accept it and move on. When you have a great deal of discretion, it at least opens the door for a perception that some players are treated differently based on their status or other factors that are not germane to the issue. So from our standpoint, I think it is a more workable system but I certainly understand how different leagues come to different conclusions.
Adolpho Birch and Journal of Entertainment & Tech. Law Editor,
NFL General Counsel Adolpho Birch speaks on the NFL's Drug Policy,
5 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/jetlaw/vol5/iss1/1