Sports

Owners Approve New Personal Conduct Policy

In this May 22, 2012, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pauses during a new conference in Atlanta. A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL employee three months ago, while league executives have insisted they didn't see the violent images until they were published this week. The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number confirming the video arrived on April 9. A female voice expresses thanks for providing the video and says: "You're right. It's terrible." Goodell sent a memo on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, to the 32 teams reiterating that the NFL never saw the video until Monday, Sept. 8. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
In this May 22, 2012, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pauses during a new conference in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) — NFL owners approved changes to the personal conduct policy Wednesday, but Commissioner Roger Goodell will retain authority to rule on appeals.

A special counsel for investigations and conduct will oversee initial discipline, Goodell said. The commissioner also may appoint a panel of independent experts to participate in deciding an appeal.

The players’ union has sought negotiations with the NFL on any revamping of the policy, and said Tuesday it would “reserve the right to take any and all actions” should the owners act unilaterally. The union could consider Wednesday’s vote by the owners as a violation of the collective bargaining agreement reached in 2011 to end the lockout of the players.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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