Has there ever been a string of punishments/non-punishments more baffling than Roger Goodell's recent run? Lacking a clear directive but wielding the personal-conduct policy like Zeus's discriminate lightning bolts, no one plays unless the Commish decides he's "ready," and the Commish doesn't have to justify himself to you. By choosing not to suspend Aqib Talib or Kenny Britt for actual crimes, it looked like he was admitting his jurisdiction was limited by the lockout. But by "suspending" Terrelle Pryor, he was emphasizing that his jurisdiction was not limited by the actual boundaries of the NFL.
The message was clear enough: Goodell was telling the NCAA that, hey, we've got your back. It's a hypocrisy made clear by the lack of discipline for coaches who ran afoul of the bylaws, like Pete Carroll and Jim Tressel. We don't particularly think Pryor or Tressel did anything wrong, but in the kangaroo court of college sports, Tressel's violations were the more flagrant. So why didn't we hear a peep out of the Commissioner's Office about suspending Tressel?
It's sad and a shame and ultimately telling that Tressel had to offer himself up as a martyr to save Goodell the embarrassment. The Colts informed the league that Tressel won't assume his game-day consultant duties until week 7, a sanction suggested by Tressel himself. Always the martyr, he decided he needs one more game off than Pryor received. And by doing this, he's probably sandbagging Pryor's appeal. But it's worth it, just to bring front and center just how inconsistent the NFL's enforcement is. If the league had its shit together, we wouldn't have to wait for self-imposed suspensions. Of course if the league really had its shit together, we wouldn't even have to discuss the absurdity of punishment for actions in a previous job.