Prospective players who have been convicted on domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons charges will no longer be allowed to attend the NFL scouting combine or draft, according to an internal league memo obtained by ESPN.
If a background check turns up either a felony or misdemeanor conviction, or if a player refuses to submit to a background check, he will not be permitted to attend "any league-related event," NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in the memo, which was obtained Tuesday by ESPN.
Despite the ban on events, players with prior convictions will still be eligible to be drafted.
"It is important for us to remain strongly committed to league values as we demonstrate to our fans, future players, coaches, general managers and others who support our game that character matters," Vincent said in the memo.
Although the rule figures to affect few if any players each year, it would have kept former Michigan linebacker Frank Clark away from the festivities last year. Clark, a second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, was arrested for a domestic violence incident but plead guilty to a lesser charge.
Quarterback Jameis Winston, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' choice with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, would not have been affected, as he was not convicted of sexual assault stemming from allegations while he was at Florida State.
This year's scouting combine is scheduled to be Feb. 23-29 in Indianapolis, with the draft taking place April 28-30 in Chicago.