After the three-day deshaun watson hearing ended four weeks ago yesterday, I predicted that we’d have a decision from Judge Sue L. Robinson during the week of July 25. I’ve got one more day to be not incorrect. It looks like I will be. Wrong, that is.
So when can a decision be expected? It’s been 29 days since the hearing ended. It’s been 17 days since the parties submitted written briefs. The Collective Bargaining Agreement contains no specific timetable for issuing a decision. However, it requires that a decision be issued “as soon as practicable following the conclusion of the hearing.”
That’s a potentially broad standard. What is, or isn’t, practicable? It depends on the case.
In this one, she’ll need to prepare a written ruling that explains what the evidence was, what the evidence wasn’t, what she believed the facts to be, and how the Personal Conduct Policy applies to those facts. It will need to be clear and understandable, especially if she imposes a suspension that falls far short of the one-year ban the league has requested. The average person will need to be able to read (if they so choose) the document and to understand why she decided whatever she decides.
Whatever the decision, it’s reportedly not coming today. Which implies that Judge Robinson has told the league and/or the NFL Players Association that a decision isn’t coming today. Which suggests that she’s keenly aware of the fact that folks would like to know what’s going to happen.