Roger S. Goodell (born February 19,
1959) is the Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), having been chosen to succeed the retiring Paul Tagliabue
on August 8, 2006. He was chosen over four finalists for the position, winning a close vote on the fifth ballot before being
unanimously approved by acclamation of the owners.He
officially began his tenure on September 1, 2006, just prior to the beginning of the 2006 NFL season. As Commissioner, he is also President of NFL Charities
Goodell was born in Jamestown, New York the son of the late United States Senator Charles
E. Goodell, a Republican from New York, and the late Jean Rice Goodell of Buffalo, New York.
The Goodell family moved to Bronxville, New York, in 1971. He graduated from Bronxville High School where,
as a three-sport star in football, basketball, and baseball, he captained all three teams as a senior and was named the school's
athlete of the year Injuries kept him from playing college football.
is a 1981 graduate of Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania with a degree in economicsNFL
From intern to COO
Goodell's career in the NFL began in 1982 as an administrative intern in the league office
in New York under then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle – a position secured through an extensive letter-writing campaign to
the league office and each of its then 28 teams. In 1983, he joined the New York Jets as an intern, but returned to the league
office in 1984 as an assistant in the public relations departmentIn 1987, Goodell was appointed assistant to the president
of the American Football Conference (Lamar Hunt), and under the tutelage of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue filled a variety of
football and business operations roles, culminating with his appointment as the NFL's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating
Officer in December 2001.
As the NFL's COO, Goodell took responsibility
for the league's football operations and officiating, as well as supervised league business functions. He headed NFL Ventures,
which oversees the league's business units, including media properties, marketing and sales, stadium development and strategic
Goodell was heavily involved in the negotiation of the league's
current collective bargaining agreement. He had worked extensively with Tagliabue since the latter became commissioner in
1989 He has played an extensive role in league expansion, realignment, and stadium development, including the launch of the
NFL Network and securing new television agreements as well as the latest collective bargaining agreement with the National
Football League Players Association.
Goodell's selection as Commissioner following the retirement
of Paul Tagliabue came as no surprise, but it was not a fait accompli. Tagliabue initiated a substantive, wide ranging search
for his successor, appointing a committee headed by owner Dan Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Goodell was one of five finalists, joining Gregg Levy, Frederick Nance, Robert Reynolds, and Mayo Shattuck
III. With 22 votes from the owners being needed to make a choice, Goodell, who oddsmakers had installed as a prohibitive 2:5
favorite to be selected, only garnered 15 votes to Levy's 13, with three votes scattered among the other candidates and the
Oakland Raiders abstaining.
On the second and third ballots, Goodell and
Levy were the only candidates to receive votes (Goodell 17, Levy 14). Goodell increased his lead to 21–10 after the
fourth ballot, falling one vote shy of election, but on the fifth round of voting two owners swung their votes to him to achieve
the necessary two-thirds majority The Oakland Raiders abstained from the voting in each round.
Goodell was chosen on August 8, 2006, to succeed Paul Tagliabue and assumed office on September 1—the
date Tagliabue set to leave office.
For more details
on Roger Goodell's actions on NFL player conduct, see National Football League player conduct controversy.
Further information: Spygate
In November 2006, amid rumors that the NFL may expand outside of the United States, Goodell stated "I
don't know if it will become a reality, but it is certainly a possibility."In April 2007, following a year of significant
scandal surrounding some NFL players' actions off-the-field, Goodell announced a new NFL Personal Conduct Policy. Tennessee
Titans cornerback Pacman Jones and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry were the first two players to be suspended
under the new policy, and Chicago Bears defensive lineman Tank Johnson was suspended months later due to his conduct involving
weapon ownership and drunk driving. On August 31, 2007, Goodell suspended Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson for
five games and fined him US$100,000, and suspended New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison four games without pay, after
they admitted the use of banned substances for medical purposes and to accelerate healing, respectively. The league indicated
to Wilson that his more severe penalty was because they held "people in authority in higher regard than people on the
|Date Suspended||Suspension Length||Name||Position||Team at the time of suspension|
|April 10, 2007||Entire 2007 season||Adam "Pacman" Jones||Cornerback||Tennessee Titans|
|First 8 games of 2007 season||Chris Henry||Wide receiver||Cincinnati Bengals|
4, 2007||First 8 games of 2007 season||Terry "Tank"
|August 24, 2007-July
27, 2009||Suspended for the first two regular season games in the 2009 season and could
play by week three of the season. He can play the final two pre-season games.||Michael
|October 14, 2008||Indefinite|
(ultimately was the minimum of 4 games)
|Adam "Pacman" Jones||Cornerback||Dallas Cowboys|
|August 13, 2009||Entire
2009 Season||Donte Stallworth||Wide Receiver||Cleveland Browns|
|April 21, 2010||First
6 games of 2010 season (later changed to 4 games due to continuous following of the NFL personal conduct guidelines)||Ben Roethlisberger||Quarterback||Pittsburgh
On September 13, 2007, Goodell disciplined
the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick after New England attempted to videotape the defensive signals of the
New York Jets on September 9. Belichick was fined the league maximum of US$500,000 and the team itself was fined US$250,000
and the loss of their first round 2008 draft pick. Goodell said he considered suspending Belichick, but decided against it
because he felt the penalties were "more effective" than a suspension.
October 19th, 2010, the NFL handed out fines to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Falcons Cornerback Dunta Robinson,
and New England Patriots Safety Brandon Meriweather after they were involved in controversial hits the previous Sunday. Goodell
released a memo to every team in the league stating that "“It is clear to me that further action is required to
emphasize the importance of teaching safe and controlled techniques, and of playing within the rules." The NFL's
reaction to the hits was itself controversial and Goodell came under criticism from players like Troy Polamalu, who felt he
had assumed too much control and power over punishment towards players and was making wrong decisions.
is married to former Fox News Channel anchor Jane Skinner and they have twin daughters. He has four brothers; among them are
Tim, who has recently transferred his employment to work at the Hess Corp.; and Michael, long-time partner of Jack Kenny,
creator of the short-lived NBC series The Book of Daniel. The Webster family on the show was loosely based on the