At least 17 Vikings aboard boats during parties

1:00 PM, Dec 21, 2005   |    comments
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A source says at least 17, but possibly as many as 25, Vikings team members were on the pair of cruise boats for a party that allegedly involved sex acts, heavy drinking, drugs, and possible prostitution took place. As many as 90 people attended the party. There was also a captain and three servers on each boat. Stephen Doyle, the lawyer of the boats' owners, said Fred Smoot and one other player booked the Thursday night cruise. Doyle declined to name the second player or any of the guests at the party. The investigation centers on determining if any laws were broken. Sheriff Pat McGowan says what happened may be inappropriate , but it might not be criminal. "The dancing, in and of itself, would be legal. However, it does require a permit," McGowan said. "And this office, we are the issuing authority for permits on Lake Minnetonka, and we certainly did not issue a permit." Police have not completed interviewing the boats' staff and it is unknown if they have interviewed any of the guests. Many of the staff members have talked to Doyle however. He relayed their stories to reporters Tuesday. Once the boats left shore, Doyle said, some women guests started stripping for some of the players, who put down money as the women danced. The dancing escalated to lap dances, followed by players giving and receiving oral sex. Doyle said the boats were on the water for 90 minutes, and the cruise was cut short by the company when the owners found out what was happening. Smoot, nor his agent, returned calls on Tuesday, but late in the evening the Vikings organization released a statement saying, "The organization has been made aware of the allegations involving our players and we take these allegations very seriously. We are working diligently to gather as many facts as possible." Regardless of whether anything illegal happened, players could face fines or other punishments for violating the NFL's Personal conduct policy. NFL Personal Conduct Policy Engaging in violent and/or criminal activity is unacceptable and constitutes conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League. Such conduct alienates the fans on whom the success of the League depends and has negative and sometimes tragic consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. The League is committed to promoting and encouraging lawful conduct and to providing a safe and professional workplace for its employees.

Persons Covered by Policy
The following persons ("Covered Persons") shall be considered subject to this Policy: (i) all players under contract; (ii) all full-time employees of the National Football League, its Member Clubs and related entities; (iii) all rookie players once they are selected in the NFL College Draft; and (iv) all undrafted rookie players, unsigned veterans and other prospective employees once they commence negotiations with a Club concerning employment.

Prohibited Conduct
It will be considered conduct detrimental for Covered Persons to engage in (or to aid, abet or conspire to engage in or to incite) violent and/or criminal activity. Examples of such Prohibited Conduct include, without limitation: any crime involving the use or threat of physical violence to a person or persons; the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime; possession or distribution of a weapon in violation of state or federal law; involvement in "hate crimes" or crimes of domestic violence; theft, larceny or other property crimes; sex offenses; racketeering; money laundering; obstruction of justice; resisting arrest; fraud; and violent or threatening conduct. Additionally, Covered Persons shall not by their words or conduct suggest that criminal activity is acceptable or condoned within the NFL.

Persons Charged with Criminal Activity
Any Covered Person arrested for or charged with conduct prohibited by this policy will be required to undergo an immediate, mandatory clinical evaluation and, if directed, appropriate counseling. Such evaluation and counseling must be performed under the direction and supervision of the NFL Vice President of Player and Employee Development. Failure to cooperate with evaluation and counseling (including being arrested for or charged with additional criminal activity during the evaluation and counseling period) shall itself be conduct detrimental to the National Football League and shall be punishable by fine or suspension at the discretion of the Commissioner.

Persons Convicted of Criminal Activity
Any Covered Person convicted of or admitting to a criminal violation (including a plea to a lesser included offense; a plea of nolo contendere or no contest; or the acceptance of a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, disposition of supervision, or similar arrangement) will be subject to discipline as determined by the Commissioner. Such discipline may include a fine, suspension without pay and/or banishment from the League. Any Covered Person convicted of or admitting to a second criminal violation will be suspended without pay or banished for a period of time to be determined by the Commissioner.

Persons Engaged in Violent Activity in the Workplace
Every employee is entitled to a safe and professional workplace free of criminal behavior, violence and threats against personal safety. Criminal conduct in the workplace or against other employees is prohibited. Any Covered Person who commits or threatens violent acts against co-workers, regardless of whether an arrest is made or criminal charges are brought, shall be subject to evaluation, counseling and discipline, including termination of employment.

Duty to Report Prohibited Conduct
To ensure the effective administration of the policy, the League must be advised when a Covered Person engages in Prohibited Conduct. The obligation to report an arrest or criminal charge extends to both the person involved and to the Club or League entity for which he or she works.

Persons subject to this policy who are arrested or charged with Prohibited Conduct must report that incident to their Clubs or to NFL Security at (800) NFL-1099. Failure to report an incident will constitute conduct detrimental and will be taken into consideration in the final determination of discipline under this policy.

Appeal Rights
Any person disciplined under this policy shall have a right of appeal, including a hearing, before the Commissioner or his designee. Except for the enforcement of discipline, no other requirements set forth in the policy will be stayed pending the completion of the appeal.

Source: National Football League

(Copyright 2005 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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