July 15, 2013
BRONCOS ANNOUNCE DISCIPLINE FOR MATT RUSSELL AND TOM HECKERT
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —The Denver Broncos on Monday announced discipline imposed by the organization for Director of Player Personnel Matt Russell and Director of Pro Personnel Tom Heckert.
The club has suspended Russell indefinitely without pay following his actions on July 6. Heckert has been suspended by the team for one month without pay following his incident on June 11.
Both suspensions are effective beginning today, July 15.
Our organization has communicated this discipline to the Commissioner’s Office of the National Football League, which has informed us it has no plans to impose additional discipline for this conduct.
The Broncos will support Matt and Tom during their suspensions and beyond as necessary. They will be provided with treatment resources as needed in the form of education, counseling and other rehabilitation programs.
Specifics of their treatment will be kept confidential due to the personal nature of these matters.
Both will be monitored closely to ensure compliance and will be thoroughly evaluated before any potential return to employment with the Denver Broncos.
Our club also will give careful consideration to the legal proceedings in determining their future standing with the organization.
STATEMENT FROM DENVER BRONCOS PRESIDENT JOE ELLIS
“We have closely reviewed the incidents involving Matt Russell and Tom Heckert independently as well as part of a larger issue we must address. Throughout this process, we had extensive conversations internally and consulted with the National Football League.
“This morning, we informed both Matt and Tom of the discipline as well as our expectations of them going forward. While they will be punished and held accountable, our first priority is their health and well-being. We must ensure they receive any care they need and support them however possible.
“Although they have expressed great remorse, this in no way excuses their conduct. The decisions they made away from the workplace undermined the integrity of our organization and the NFL as well as the values instilled by Pat Bowlen during his ownership.
“Specifically and most disturbingly, their actions endangered the lives of innocent people.
“There is no place for drinking and driving, and we certainly expect better from those in leadership positions. The resources we make available within our organization are critically important, but there is nothing more vital than individual responsibility.
“It is imperative that we affect the decision-making process to end this reckless behavior.
“Our education, counseling, resources and awareness regarding this serious offense must be improved. That process has already begun.
“We will take these steps and more as we deal with this issue in the most thorough manner possible.”
STATEMENT FROM DENVER BRONCOS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS JOHN ELWAY
“When I was named to this position two years ago, I spoke of the role this organization has in the community. We all have an individual responsibility to represent this team in the appropriate manner at all times.
“It’s particularly disappointing that two members of my staff acted so irresponsibly. Simply put, it’s unacceptable and inexcusable.
“I was extremely concerned when Tom Heckert notified me of his arrest in June. We talked about it as a staff, reinforced the intolerable nature of his actions and notified the league as we began the disciplinary process.
“To hear of Matt Russell’s incident last week was especially disturbing considering the timing and severity of those allegations.
“While Matt and Tom have apologized and taken accountability, it’s most important they take advantage of whatever help they need.
“We will learn from this and take the necessary action as we move forward in a positive way.”
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