Operations Executive: Hard To Monitor 61 NFL Players

 

Feb 5, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez wears Beats by Dre headphones prior to Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe wrote a Sunday column about the Aaron Hernandez saga. In it he points out that Aaron Hernandez never failed a drug test while playing for the New England Patriots.

While many teams employ security details to help monitor players and keep them out of trouble it is hard to watch a full NFL team’s roster. Volin talked to a operations executive who worked with multiple NFL teams about the challenges they face.

“It’s tough. You can’t baby-sit 61 players 24/7. You have to let them live their lives,” the operations executive said. “You have your guys you know are more likely to get into trouble, but sometimes even the good ones surprise you. A guy can be good 99 percent of the time, but the one mistake he makes can make the news.”

“Teams don’t follow their players around or anything like that. Teams focus on giving guys the information and tools to protect themselves,” the operations executive said. “The first thing we told guys was, ‘Don’t drink and drive. And don’t be in suspicious places late at night.’ But the guys are going to do what they want. Some listen. Some don’t.”

“In my experience, teams want to protect their investment in players but won’t cross the line into invasion of privacy to do so,” the operations executive said.

“Because I managed pretty much everything on the road, when we were on away trips everything kind of flowed through the operations staff. Players had my cellphone [number] and if they needed a cab, a ride, a hotel room or anything, I would facilitate it. Some agents have guys who do the same thing.

“We had a good knowledge of the areas we were in and strong relationships with hotels and their security, just to keep any low-level problems in-house — maybe a dustup between a couple of players in a meeting room or someone breaking curfew.

“I interacted a lot with the players and knew what a lot of them did on weekends or on certain nights. But I was never asked by the organization to divulge that info.”

Topics: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots

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