NFL clears Browns after former coach said team tanked games

May 2, 2022, 4:12 AM | Updated: 4:13 pm
FILE - Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson speaks during the first day of the House of A...

FILE - Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson speaks during the first day of the House of Athlete Scouting Combine in Plantation, Fla., March 3, 2021. The Browns have spoken to an NFL investigator looking into claims by Jackson, who said the team intentionally lost games in 2016 and 2017. Jackson, now coaching at Grambling State, was fired by Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam eight games into the 2018 season with a 3-36-1 record. He has said the team paid him bonuses to lose and that he believes he was set up to fail. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The NFL handed former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson another loss.

The league announced Monday that it found “no evidence” the Browns purposely lost games or incentivized personnel to do so after Jackson alleged in February the team tried to lose during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The league said Monday that a 60-day independent review determined “none of the allegations could be substantiated.”

Former U.S. Attorney and SEC Chair Mary Jo White led the investigative team.

Jackson went 3-36-1 in two-plus seasons for Cleveland before he was fired eight games into the 2018 season.

Jackson had claimed Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam incentivized people in the organization to lose over a four-year period.

Jackson later softened those comments.

The investigation concluded there wasn’t evidence supporting Jackson’s claims the team tanked during those seasons, and the club’s ownership or football personnel “made no decisions deliberately to weaken the team to secure a more favorable draft position.”

The Browns went 1-15 in 2016 and lost all 16 games the following season under Jackson.

White and other lawyers interviewed Jimmy Haslam along with current and former members of the organization.

The league said Jackson initially agreed to meet with investigators before deciding against it.

The investigators had access to Jackson’s public statements and filings and testimony in a prior arbitration proceeding.

The league said the Browns also provided documents, including emails, texts, internal memos and presentation decks to assist the inquiry.

The Browns denied Jackson’s assertions from the start, and are pleased with the investigators’ findings.

“We appreciate the independent investigation led by Mary Jo White and the Debevoise team which brings closure to these allegations that Hue Jackson publicly recanted shortly after they were made and that we’ve known all along are categorically false,” said team spokesman Peter Jean-Baptiste. “As we’ve previously stated, we welcomed this investigation because the integrity of our game is something that should not be taken lightly and an independent review was crucial in bringing a conclusion to this matter.”

Jackson is currently coaching at Grambling.


More AP NFL: and and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
23 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
23 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
23 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
23 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
23 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
23 days ago
NFL clears Browns after former coach said team tanked games