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Detailed primer for what awaits NFL

3/11/2011

Thanks much to those who contribute in the comments sections of blog entries.

One such contributor, jandkolepsycho, came through with a link to Michael McCann's helpful NFL post-decertification primer. This is basically what only a sports law professor could write -- a detailed walk through the courts.

You'll be better informed for giving it a read. One key passage details the National Labor Relations Board's potential involvement:

Assuming there is no deal between NFL and NFLPA and assuming Judge Doty rules in favor of NFL -- meaning the lockout would be given the green light -- league operations would then stop and the players would then continue their decertification. The NLRB would then conduct a hearing on the decertification. NFLPA would likely win that NLRB hearing since bad faith will be hard for NFL to show.

Assuming NFLPA wins the NLRB hearing, the nuclear outcome would emerge: no union, no bargaining (since decertification removes the NFLPA's power to collectively bargain) and no football. Such a stalemate could go on potentially for years, but that would not necessarily mean no football the whole time.

If the owners wanted to restore football, they could end their lockout while the NFLPA was decertified and NFL players and teams would operate as if the expired CBA was still in effect. The NFLPA could then be recertified when NFL players were ready to strike a new CBA with the owners. This is what happened in the late '80s/early '90s, with games played in spite of an expired CBA and a decertified NFLPA.

Most of us don't care so much about the fine print as long as there's football being played come the regular season.