The NFL announces that neither the Lions nor Coach Matt Patricia will be subject to any discipline in regard to a 1996 sexual assault allegation against the Detroit coach, ESPN reports.
The findings don’t address the truth of the allegations, only whether the Lions and Patricia acted properly during the hiring process.
The Lions are not at fault for not learning about Patricia’s 1996 arrest during his interviews and screening, league spokesman Brian McCarthy says Monday. Patricia, 43, won’t be disciplined for not letting his arrest be known to the club.
“Our office reviewed the matter with the Lions and Mr. Patricia, and ensured the club engaged in appropriate and thorough hiring practices and that the Coach did not mislead the team,” McCarthy says.
“We determined that the Lions handled the interview process in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner and fully and appropriately compiled with all applicable employment laws. As we learned from both Mr. Patricia and the Lions, the matter was not part of his employment interview process for job opportunities outside of or within the NFL.”
The sexual allegations are not subject to the league’s personal conduct policy, as they arose well before Patricia’s affiliation with the NFL.
A woman in 1996 accused Patricia and a fellow college friend of sexually assaulting her in a hotel in Texas. They were indicted, but the case was dropped after the woman decided it was too stressful to testify.
“The truth is on my side,” Patricia said in a news conference on May 10. “I lived with the mental torture of the situation where facts can be completely ignored or misrepresented with disregard to the consequence and pain that it would create for another person. I find it unfair and upsetting that someone would bring this claim up over two decades later for the sole purpose of hurting my family, my friends and this organization with the intention of trying to damage my character and credibility.”