Should NFL allow Burress to play on work release?

August 10, 2010

Hard line is drawn

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

Plaxico Burress should not be permitted to play in the NFL this season. Even if his request for work release is granted, and he somehow clears all the hurdles to come back to football (can he play in out-of-state games, for instance?), Burress needs to complete his entire sentence to return.

That's what Roger Goodell ruled, and it's not unreasonable. Goodell's hard-line approach to players who run afoul of the law has been the most successful initiative of his tenure as commissioner.

Does the NFL want to get in the business of determining which legal sentences are appropriate and which are excessive? Does every sentence get re-examined? That sets a dangerous and complex precedent.

The league — unlike Burress — should stick to its guns on this one.

Debt would be paid

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

Once Plaxico Burress is granted work release, he should be allowed to play in the NFL. The terms of his league suspension stated that he could return to the field once his prison term was up, so the NFL need not punish him further.

Once Burress' debt to society is complete, he should be treated like anyone else and given the opportunity to get back into the workplace.

Whether the Giants should welcome him back is another issue. They might feel burned by his cavalier behavior, not only in the gun incident, but also in other incidents. You couldn't blame the Giants for severing ties with Burress, even though he probably still could be productive at 32.

Not above the law

Ken Murray

Baltimore Sun

Plaxico Burress has a year to go at the Oneida (N.Y.) Correctional Facility on his two-year sentence for felony weapons charges. I'm OK with him getting out on a work-release program, but only if the time is spent in community work and not on the football field making money.

Burress was the only victim when he shot himself in the leg with an unregistered gun in 2008, but that's merely circumstance. Someone else easily could have been hurt or worse. Like many athletes, he apparently believed he could operate above the law. It's worthwhile to show he can't.

Then there's the matter of NFL discipline. I don't think Roger Goodell can allow Burress back in the league this year. I suspect Burress will miss two seasons before getting the chance to see what he has left.

He didn't kill anyone

Dave Hyde

Sun Sentinel

Donte Stallworth last played in an NFL game in 2008. Since then he killed a man while driving drunk, worked through the legal process, served a league suspension and signed with the Ravens for this season.

Plaxico Burress last played in an NFL game in 2008. Since then he shot himself in the thigh in a Manhattan nightclub, went to jail and is trying to get out on a work-release program with hopes of playing again in the league.

If Stallworth can return in the same time frame after killing a man, why shouldn't Burress? We love to play the tough guy in sports and deliver punishment. There's a place for what's fair and right. If the law says Burress can play, who's to say he shouldn't?

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