Dec 30, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder on the field before the game between the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

House committee accepts Dan Snyder’s offer to testify July 28

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Tuesday accepted Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder’s offer to testify before them remotely on July 28.

Snyder’s attorney has until noon ET Wednesday to confirm her client will testify.

After some consternation over whether Snyder was attempting to evade a subpoena, reports last week said Snyder offered July 28 and 29 as dates he would be available to testify via video conference in the committee’s investigation into the Commanders’ workplace culture.

Committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) issued a subpoena after he declined an invitation to testify last month, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified. Late last month, a spokesperson for the committee said Snyder and his attorney had “refused to accept service” of a subpoena, though Snyder’s camp denied that charge.

On Tuesday, Maloney said in a letter that the committee will still proceed with the subpoena to ensure a complete, unrestricted testimony.

The Washington owner has said he has been out of the country on business on the dates the House committee previously proposed. Attorney Karen Patton Seymour also said in last week’s letter that Snyder, 57, planned to spend “much of July” and “into August” in Israel while observing the one-year anniversary of the death of his mother.

Media reports have detailed allegations of sexual misconduct from 15 female ex-employees, including multiple accusations of sexual harassment against Snyder in particular. While those women have spoken out publicly, at least 50 ex-employees reportedly have complained about the workplace culture.

–Field Level Media

Nov 3, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Congress: Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted ‘shadow’ probe

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” into allegations that he oversaw a toxic workplace culture, according to a document released Wednesday by a Congressional committee.

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a 29-page memo, supported by more than 600 pages of depositions, based on its eight-month investigation.

Among the findings, the report alleges Snyder attempted to discredit former employees who made accusations of workplace sexual harassment and also hired private investigators to intimidate witnesses.

Snyder, 57, declined an invitation to testify before the committee, saying he would be out of town for business.

Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) said Wednesday that she will subpoena Snyder to appear.

“The NFL is unwilling or unable to hold Mr. Snyder accountable,” Maloney said. “That is why I am announcing now my intent to issue a subpoena for Mr. Snyder for a deposition next week. The committee will not be deterred in its investigation into the Washington Commanders.”

The NFL fined the Commanders $10 million in June 2021 following an investigation led by Beth Wilkinson. Snyder stepped away from day-to-day operations at that time.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified for more than two hours before the committee on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) asked Goodell if the NFL planned to take further actions against Snyder.

“I don’t have the authority to remove him, Congresswoman,” Goodell said.

An owner can only be removed by a three-quarters majority vote (24 of 32) of fellow owners, although Goodell does have the authority to recommend a vote.

“It is clear to me that the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in numerous respects: bullying, widespread disrespect toward colleagues, use of demeaning language, public embarrassment, and harassment,” Goodell said in his prepared opening remarks.

“… The workplace at the Commanders today bears no resemblance to the workplace that has been described to this committee.”

–Field Level Media

Quarterback Arch Manning 16 throws a pass as Newman takes on Lafayette Christian Academy in the LHSAA Div III semi finals.  Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021.

Arch Manning Lca Vs Newman Football 5186

SEC, Pac-12 commissioners in D.C. for NIL guidance

Federal Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation is the subject of the Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference commissioners’ visit to Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Multiple conference commissioners have voiced concern the current NIL rules leave open pay-for-play and recruitment weapons the NCAA insists can be avoided.

“Either the NCAA is going to get its act together in enforcing this,” said George Kliavkoff, Pac-12 commissioner, in an ESPN interview. “Or I’m going to be pushing for a smaller group to figure out how to create and enforce the NIL rules that we all agree on related to inducement and pay-for-play. The amount of an NIL payment should be commensurate with the work done as a backstop to make sure we’re not using it related to inducement and pay-for-play.”

Estimates for NIL earnings for top college football recruit Arch Manning, a pro-style quarterback and nephew to Peyton and Eli, are between $1.5 million and $2 million.

Policy and protocol for NIL deals are loosely defined since going into effect last summer in a landmark shift in amateurism and NCAA guidelines for student-athletes and their schools.

One of the primary reasons SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Kliavkoff are on Capitol Hill: Kliavkoff believes the “existential threat of our student-athletes being deemed to be employees” to be real.

Kliavkoff was part of a committee under outgoing NCAA president Mark Emmert that requested oversight from Congress. The thrust of the request, as outlined in detail by Emmert before the 2022 Final Four, is confusion around widely varying state laws and the application of NIL without the benefit of precedent.

“I think it’s more likely that we eventually get federal legislation on name, image and likeness, but we’re also interested in discussing all of the harm that will come to student-athletes if they are deemed to be employees,” Kliavkoff said.

In Sankey’s dominant football conference, coaches fired accusations in February that NIL deals are driving recruiting decisions. Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher have volleyed barbs related to standards and practices, while also asking for uniform NIL rules and policies in all states.

Fisher said Wednesday at the Houston Touchdown Club that college football needs “uniformity to make it fair for everybody across the board” immediately.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin also prodded Fisher and the Aggies for having a different “budget” for recruits.

“I joked the other day I didn’t know if Texas A&M was going to incur a luxury tax and how much they paid for their signing class,” Kiffin said in February.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2022; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Commanders co-owner Dan Snyder speaks as co-owner Tanya Snyder (L) listens during a press conference revealing the Commanders as the new name for the formerly named Washington Football Team at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Former U.S. Attorney to investigate Dan Snyder, release findings

The NFL hired former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White to conduct its investigation into the latest allegations made against Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder.

Crucially, the NFL said it will release a written report to the public. When the franchise hired lawyer Beth Wilkinson in 2020 to investigate initial allegations of a culture of sexual harassment in its workplace, her complete findings were never released.

White previously worked with the NFL to investigate sexual and racial harassment allegations against Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who eventually sold the team in 2018.

In a House Oversight Committee roundtable earlier this month, six former team employees testified about Washington’s misogynistic workplace culture. Among the most explosive new allegations came from Tiffani Johnston, a former marketing coordinator and cheerleader who said Snyder placed his hand on her thigh during a work dinner in 2006 and later tried to push her into a limousine outside the restaurant.

Johnston also claimed that Snyder demanded a photo of her in lingerie taken for a promotional calendar be sent to him before it was edited or altered for the calendar.

Snyder has denied the new allegations, while saying previous claims had already been investigated.

In a release Friday, though, the teams says it welcomes the investigation.

“The Washington Commanders are pleased that the NFL has appointed Mary Jo White to look into the recent allegations made by Tiffani Johnson. The Commanders have always been intent on having a full and fair investigation of this matter conducted, and to releasing the results of that investigation. Given the Team’s confidence in Ms. White’s ability to conduct such a full and fair investigation, the Commanders will not separately pursue an investigation, and will cooperage fully with Ms. White.”

Some of the witnesses who spoke out earlier this month placed blame on the NFL for not punishing Snyder and the Commanders more following the Wilkinson investigation. In 2021, the team was fined $10 million, and Snyder was forced to cede — temporarily — day-to-day operational control of the team.

“The NFL is now complicit in this scandal,” Washington’s director of marketing Melanie Coburn told Congress. “Ten months, more than 120 witnesses and nothing. Roger Goodell’s claim that he was trying to protect us is outrageous and cowardly. The public optics of him caring is appalling. Goodell betrayed every woman who suffered harassment and abuse at the Washington Football Team.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2020; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and his wife Tanya look on as head coach Ron Rivera speaks during his introductory press conference at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Congress renews interest in WFT workplace investigation

The House Oversight Committee will hold a roundtable discussion on Feb. 3 to learn more about the NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team.

The roundtable, which isn’t a full congressional hearing, will involve some of the women who have accused the team of fostering a toxic workplace culture.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that not only did the team fail to protect employees, but the NFL went to great lengths to prevent the truth about this toxic work environment from coming to light,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“The NFL’s decision to cover up these abuses raises serious questions about its commitment to setting workplace standards that keep employees safe. I commend these victims for their bravery in coming forward to share their stories.”

The Capitol Hill meeting will be held the day after the Washington franchise is scheduled to reveal its new name and logo.

Five former employees are expected to testify, but no team or NFL officials are on the schedule. The former employees have criticized how the NFL investigated and dealt with their complaints about the workplace environment.

At the end of its investigation last summer, the league didn’t issue a report or make public its findings. The NFL fined the team $10 million and required that owner Daniel Snyder hand over the day-to-day operations of the club to his wife, Tanya, for the time being.

Leaked emails that were discovered during the investigation led to the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden after they became public in October. The emails were offensive in nature.

“In pursuing this investigation, Congress will send a clear message to all employers that the rights of women to work in an environment free from harassment and abuse will not be undermined in service to the rich and powerful,” said attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent 40 former team employees, in a statement.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of the helmet belonging to Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Congressional Democrats seek info from WFT

The investigation into the Washington Football Team’s reputed toxic work atmosphere moved to a new level Thursday when two Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives sought to get Congress involved.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, seeking “all documents and communications obtained in connection with the investigation into the WFT, its management, its owners, and any other matter relating to or resulting from the WFT investigation,” multiple media outlets reported.

Maloney chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The five-page letter included, “We have serious concerns about what appears to be widespread abusive workplace conduct at the WFT and about the NFL’s handling of this matter. …

“The NFL’s lack of transparency about the problems it recently uncovered raise questions about the seriousness with which it has addressed bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia — setting troubling precedent for other workplaces.”

The league was given two weeks to turn over the requested documents to Congress.

The NFL completed a thorough investigation of the Washington Football Team this summer, the league ultimately declaring, “Bullying and intimidation frequently took place and many described the culture as one of fear.”

The team was fined $10 million, and Daniel Snyder was ordered to hand over day-to-day operations of the club to his wife, Tanya Snyder.

The league looked at 650,000 emails, and some of them, written by then TV analyst Jon Gruden to then-WFT president Bruce Allen, were leaked in recent weeks. Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after the publication of emails he sent that included racist, misogynistic and homophobic language.

Further email leaks showed a tight relationship between Allen and NFL legal counsel Jeff Pash, with the correspondence revealing that the pair mocked some NFL policies. To date, the league has stood behind Pash.

–Field Level Media

AGA, NFL May Have More in Common Than It Appears


As the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations prepares to host a hearing on Thursday titled “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America,” a question comes to mind: As key sports betting stakeholders, including the American Gaming Association, individual states and lawmakers, casino operators and others push back against a “federal framework” for sports wagering, while the NFL and several other pro leagues lobby in favor, do the two sides have anything in common?

It appears they do.

And, according to AGA senior vice president of public affairs Sara Slane, the two sides have more in common than you might think. In fact, Slane thinks the professional leagues, the NFL in particular, and her group are “90 percent aligned.”


Read more AGA, NFL May Have More in Common Than It Appears on SportsHandle.

Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting And Sports: FanDuel Fiasco Wrap, Congress Coming

The post Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting And Sports: FanDuel Fiasco Wrap, Congress Coming appeared first on SportsHandle.

It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).

Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top stories, and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.

Takeaways on FanDuel Sportsbook Fiasco; Sports Betting Hearing on Capitol Hill Set for Next Week, Destination and Objectives Largely Unknown

A lot has happened this week, which has become the norm, and probably will remain so until the end of time. The top headline this week concerned the ticketing “glitch” at the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. It became a full-fledged national mainstream media story.

If you’re here, you know the facts by now, but let’s quickly recap: A man named Anthony Prince placed a bet over the counter at +75000 odds on the Broncos to defeat the Raiders at a time when the actual odds posted should have been -600. He wagered $110 to win about $82,000. The Broncos won the game. FanDuel said they would not pay Prince the money, calling the odds a technical error (with some human error, too). They initially offered him $500 and Giants tickets (value descending) instead of the $18 he’d have won at -600. Prince lawyered up.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement began an investigation and although FanDuel may have been able to avoid paying the man (there were others who took advantage of the erroneous line that lived for 18 seconds) under regulations and house rules, the DGE may have pressured FanDuel to resolve the dispute by just paying Prince — to avoid a bad look so early into the growth process of New Jersey’s new sports betting market. On Thursday FanDuel reversed course and will pay that man his money, ultimately, a public relations move that may benefit the company overall. 


Read more Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting And Sports: FanDuel Fiasco Wrap, Congress Coming on SportsHandle.

Congressional Hearing on Sports Betting Slated For Sept. 27

The post Congressional Hearing on Sports Betting Slated For Sept. 27 appeared first on SportsHandle.

The Congressional hearing on sports betting, which was postponed in late June, is back on the docket.

Staff for the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday confirmed that the hearing “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America” is slated for 10 a.m. ET on Sept. 27 before the U.S. House of Representatives House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.  News of the hearing was first reported by ESPN’s David Purdum.

A full list of parties testifying is not immediately available. The American Gaming Association confirmed that Sara Slane Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, will be testifying on behalf of the gaming industry.  “Legal, regulated sports betting will enable increased transparency and enhance protections for consumers and betting and game integrity,” Slane said. “We look forward to discussing the U.S. gaming industry’s core principles for legalized sports betting with the Judiciary Committee at next week’s hearing.”


Read more Congressional Hearing on Sports Betting Slated For Sept. 27 on SportsHandle.

Washington, D.C. Councilman Introduces Sports Betting Bill

The post Washington, D.C. Councilman Introduces Sports Betting Bill appeared first on SportsHandle.

Against a backdrop of U.S. Congressmen proposing the idea of a federal framework for sports betting, a District of Columbia city council member has introduced a bill that would allow sports betting in the nation’s capitol. According to the Washington Post, Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) introduced legislation that he says he is co-authoring with Democratic mayor Muriel E. Bowser and Democratic city councilman Phil Mendelson.

The bill has been referred to the Finance and Revenue Committee, of which Evans is the chairman. (Read the bill here.) The District is in a unique situation in that is it essentially a city-state and the 13-member City Council makes law in D.C.  Given the relatively small number of lawmakers, the process is more nimble than in a larger state governments. However, laws passed by the Council are subject to Congressional approval.

Should the District of Columbia legalize sports betting, it would be the first in the immediate region to do so. Maryland is very much a gaming state but did not pass sports betting legislation in 2018 that would have put the matter of legalization to voter referendum. The closest states with legal sports betting are Delaware — the first in the nation to roll out sports betting post-PASPA — and West Virginia, which took its first sports bet in late August.