Matt Patricia’s 1996 arrest and indictment on a charge of aggravated sexual assault in Texas came as a surprise to his NFL employers.
The Detroit Lions said they didn’t know. The New England Patriots, in a statement, said they were unaware, as well.
But how did that happen?cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
In one respect, it’s difficult to understand how the Lions missed it, since Patricia’s indictment came up in a basic Lexis search — initially proved by Deadspin and later done by ESPN.
There is an error in that search — one that likely would have prompted more questions from the Lions, had they found it — that says the alleged crime committed involved a child. Court records have shown that is not true.
It’s worth noting that the media, including ESPN, also missed this element of Patricia’s past during his 14 seasons in New England and when he was interviewing for head-coaching jobs in recent years, up until The Detroit News reported on the decades-old case Wednesday evening.
How could this have happened? What might the Lions have done differently to discover the case instead of saying they first learned about it from a News reporter this week?
The Lions’ front office didn’t offer an explanation in the statement it released to the media Wednesday night, hours after the News broke the story. The franchise told the News, though, that its background check searched only for criminal convictions.cheap nfl nike jersey
“Coach Patricia was the subject of a standard pre-employment background check which did not disclose the issue,” the statement said.
That they searched only for convictions would make sense if the franchise outsourced the pre-employment check to a third party — something common for many big companies. Many background search firms will give felony/misdemeanor arrest information going back only seven years because the Fair Credit Reporting Act does not allow background check reports done by consumer reporting agencies to dig deeper than that..
“Typically, per federal law, it can show conviction records indefinitely, arrest records for only seven years,” said Ryan Howard, the vice president of business development for VeriFirst Background Screening. “So non-convictions, it had to have happened in the past seven years. If it’s outside of the last seven years, you can’t show a non-conviction.