AT THE end of his junior year, my son was given a two page, single-spaced letter from a football coach, setting forth expectations of him as a team captain from that day forward. Included were obligations on and off the field, in school and in public.
The burden on the Patriots and other NFL teams isn’t so simple. Players come from different backgrounds, have been on a pedestal most of their lives, and face much greater distractions and temptations than a high school athlete. Between July and January, the focus on football makes discipline easier, but problems often occur between January and July.
Perhaps the league should hold a training camp at the end of the season where players participated in meetings and received a letter setting out expectations of them in the off season. It may or may not be effective. But if, by chance, it stops the next Aaron Hernandez, it would be worth it.