Justin Blackmon DUI: New CBA Restricts Team Discipline

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 05: Wide receiver Justin Blackmon #14 during Jacksonville Jaguars Minicamp at EverBank Field on May 5, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars first-round pick wide receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested for a DUI in Stillwater, OK early Sunday morning. This is Blackmon's second DUI offense in the past three years, which led some to wonder if the first-round pick could face league discipline. If not, some have asked for the Jaguars to impose their own discipline on the receiver by sitting him for at least a game.

I wouldn't be opposed since it's his second offense and he obviously didn't learn from the first one, but the problem is under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, I'm not sure the team is allowed to. Section 6 of Article 42 states that teams are not allowed to punish players for violating the league's substance abuse program.

Section 6. NFL Drug and Steroid Policies: No Club may impose any discipline against a player, including but not limited to terminating the player's Player Contract, as a result of that Player's violation of the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Sub-stances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or for failing any drug test, provided, however, that the fact that a player has violated the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or has failed a drug test will not preclude the termination of his Player Contract if such termination is otherwise expressly permissible under this Agreement or the player's Player Contract.

Then again, this begs to question if alcohol related incidents fall under the NFL drug policy or if they fall under something different. If it does not fall under the NFL drug policy it most likely falls under the catch-all of "Conduct Detrimental To Club". Section 1 xv of Article 42 states the following on "Conduct detrimental to Club":

(xv) Conduct detrimental to Club-maximum fine of an amount equal to one week's salary and/or suspension without pay for a period not to exceed four (4) weeks. This maximum applies without limitation to any deactivation of a player in response to player conduct (other than a deactivation in response to a player's on-field playing ability), and any such deactivation, even with pay, shall be considered discipline subject to the limits set forth in this section. The Non-Injury Grievance Arbitrator's decision in Terrell Owens (Nov. 23, 2005) is thus expressly overruled as to any Club decision to deactivate a player in response to the player's conduct.

If it falls under this category, than the team may be able to suspend Blackmon without pay for up to four weeks (games).

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