Carolina Panthers defensive tackle, Vernon Butler, has been accused of assault against a female…
Former Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick Vernon Butler was accused of a Class C assault in Dallas last week. Expected to be a big part of the front-four rotation along the defensive line this season, the allegations may come with a suspension depending on the results of an investigation.
For new team owner, David Tepper, the incident will be a first for him to sort through as players report to training camp today with their first scheduled practice occurring tomorrow afternoon. Following an offseason wrapped in controversy from alleged workplace misconduct violations by former team owner and founder, Jerry Richardson, the Butler claims are sure to be highlighted.
According to ESPN staff writer, David Newton, the Panthers defensive tackle threw a drink into the face of a woman and then pushed her down some stairs at a nightclub around 2 a.m. on July 14, but withheld reporting the incident until nearly a week later.
No charges have been filed against Butler yet, but an investigation is on going. The results could have an effect on his playing time this coming season and even future with the franchise depending on how Tepper elects to handle the situation.
A misdemeanor with a penalty of $500 maximum, there would be no jail time associated with any charge but the NFL may still enforce punishment of their own. The NFL Personal Conduct Policy contains the following verbiage concerning such an event.
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"“Even if the conduct does not result in a criminal conviction, playersfound to have engaged in any of the following conduct will be subject to discipline …Actual or threatened physical violence against another person, including dating violence,domestic violence, child abuse, and other forms of family violence; Assault and/or battery, including sexual assault or other sex offenses”"
Fortunately, Tepper is no stranger to the NFL, having served as a minority owner with the Pittsburgh Steelers before taking over in Carolina. While he may not have been in the spotlight through any disciplinary proceedings, it is plausible that he does have experience dealing with such matters.