NFL says allegations that former Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson was paid to lose games ‘could not be sustained’
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Former Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson alleged that the Browns weren’t just a bad football team in 2016-17, they were bad on purpose because he was paid to lose games.
Two months after Jackson spoke out, the NFL opened an investigation into the Browns for tanking for those two seasons.
On May 2, the NFL announced a 60-day independent review into Jackson’s claims “determined that none of the allegations could be sustained.”
According to the NFL, former U.S. Attorney and SEC Chair Mary Jo White and a team of lawyers from the Debevoise firm conducted the review on Jackson’s claims that the Browns paid or otherwise provided incentives to lose games during the 2016-17 seasons.
The NFL shared the following statement:
“The investigation found no evidence to suggest that the Browns’ Four-Year Plan or the club’s ownership or football personnel sought to lose or incentivized losses and made no decisions deliberately to weaken the team to secure a more favorable draft position.”
The NFL said the Browns fully cooperated in the comprehensive review, including interviews with Jimmy Haslam along with current and former members of the organization.
However, the NFL said Jackson ultimately did not meet with investigators after initially agreeing to do so.
“Although unable to speak directly to Coach Jackson, the Debevoise team had access to his public statements and to his filings and testimony in a prior arbitration proceeding,” the NFL stated. “The club also produced thousands of pages of documents, including emails, texts, internal memos and presentation decks as well as other material relating to club operations and the filings and testimony in the arbitration proceeding between the club and Coach Jackson.”
The Cleveland Browns shared this statement on April 18 on the NFL investigation related to the Hue Jackson allegations:
“Even though Hue recanted his allegations a short time after they were made, it was important to us and to the integrity of the game to have an independent review of the allegations. We welcomed an investigation and we are confident the results will show, as we’ve previously stated, that these allegations are categorically false. We have fully cooperated with Mary Jo White and look forward to the findings.”
Jackson and the director of his foundation alleged on Twitter that the team paid Jackson to lose games and get a higher draft pick.
Jackson appears to be supporting former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who is suing the league for its treatment of minority coaching candidates.
Flores also said Miami owner Stephen Ross offered $100,000 per loss, an offer Flores refused.
Sports Illustrated stated the NFL hired White to investigate the Dolphins from Flores’s claim.
In a statement back on Feb. 2, the Browns called Jackson’s claims “categorically false.”
Back in February, Jackson stood by his story on ESPN, and said he has proof of his claims and the NFL is aware he has proof.
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