WASHINGTON (AP) -A House committee that criticized the NFL's retiree benefit system ordered the league and the players' union Friday to turn over information on football injuries, the disability and retirement system and what's being done to help battered and broken retirees.
The House Judiciary Committee has arranged for the Congressional Research Service, an investigative and research unit, to conduct an independent study of those questions as well, committee leaders said in letters to the National Football League and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).
``Several members of the committee have suggested that Congress should intervene to fix what has been described as a broken system of delivering disability benefits to former NFL players,'' a letter from Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said. ``The CRS study will provide the essential facts to help us consider what steps, if any, Congress could take on this issue in the future.'' Conyers is the committee chairman and Smith is the ranking GOP member.
The NFL and the union have until Oct. 26 to turn over the information and answer the committee's questions. The panel has not decided whether to hold additional hearings, a spokeswoman said.
Retired football players have been openly critical of the NFL and the players' union over the amount of money that older retirees get from a $1.1 billion fund set aside for disability and pensions.
In congressional testimony, retired NFL players have told sympathetic lawmakers about the multiple surgeries, mental illnesses and other problems many suffer after years of playing the violent sport, all the while trying to fight through the red tape of the NFL and NFLPA's disability system.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended their system in a September Senate hearing, saying the NFL is boosting benefits when many companies around the country are reducing them. But he acknowledged that there have to be ways to improve.
Gene Upshaw, director of the players association, told the Senate that Congress should give the players' union greater authority to approve disability claims.
The players' union wants Congress to change federal law so it has more power on the retirement board that reviews disability claims. Under current law, the union can only name three retired former players to the board. NFL owners appoint the other three representatives.
The union is also asking Congress to tweak worker compensation laws and eliminate some of the layers of bureaucracy that make it harder for claims to be honored.
---
On the Net:
House Judiciary Committee: http://judiciary.house.gov
NFL: http://www.nfl.com
NFLPA: http://www.nflpa.org

Recent NFL Discussions

2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash
EARLY COLL PLAYS FOR WED. on Wed, Mar 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Alabama NFL Draft Odds The Alabama Crimson Tide could have a lot of players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft next week. How many...
Thumbnail Odds Theory & Fantasy: Perfect Combo In America alone over 110 million people settled down to watch February’s Super Bowl and were rewarded by a game which saw many twists and turns along the way. Of...
Thumbnail Romo moving to CBS After a lot of discussion about where Tony Romo will be next season, it appears that he will be behind a broadcast booth.
Thumbnail Patriots remain SB52 Favorites With NFL free agency slowing down dramatically over the past week, here's a look at the most recent Super Bowl 52 odds to win.
Thumbnail The Next Atlanta Falcons Despite suffering one of the greatest collapses in sports history at Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons still managed to overcome significant odds to reach the NFL’s...

NFL Team Pages