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January 31, 2014

Commissioner Roger Goodell said he has not heard from Josh Brent about reinstatement

NEW YORK – Josh Brent has not pursued reinstatement with the league yet. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday he has had no contact with Brent or Brent’s representatives since the former Cowboys defensive tackle was sentenced to 10 years probation and 180 days in jail for killing his teammate while driving drunk.

Brent retired from the NFL on July 18 and sat out last season awaiting trial for his 2012 drunken-driving crash that killed Jerry Brown Jr. He would have to apply for reinstatement from the league before resuming his career and still could be suspended under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Debbie Weir, the chief executive officer of MADD based in Irving, praised Goodell for the league’s efforts in attempting to prevent drinking and driving among players. But she said Friday the NFL Players Association needs to agree to stronger penalties for first-time offenders to serve as a deterrent.

Donte Stallworth and Leonard Little both resumed their NFL careers after convictions for killing someone while driving drunk.  

 “We have to recognize in the NFL we are on a big stage and when something happens that reflects poorly on us, that’s a negative for all of us,” Goodell said. “MADD has been a great partner in educating us, and the No. 1 point they make to me is that these are 100 percent preventable.  All we have to do is be a little bit more mindful of it and take the proper steps to avoid these types of tragedies from happening, and that’s our responsibility.”

-- Charean Williams

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