Hiring former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to investigate the NFL’s handling of running back Ray Rice has its dangers, the New York Times reports.
The NFL, which said Mueller would be given “the full cooperation of N.F.L. personnel and access to all N.F.L. records,” chose one of the best investigators to look into the matter.
“His reputation is really on the line,” said John M. Dowd, who was hired by Major League Baseball to investigate several matters. “If it comes out too light, it won’t look good. At the end of the day, what’s most important to him is his reputation, which means more to him than money. I can’t believe he’ll want to pull his punches.”
To avoid a conflict, Mueller will report to John Mara, the owner of the New York Giants, and Art Rooney II of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are lawyers.
“Our role is not to conduct or direct the investigation but to support Mr. Mueller and assist him in gaining whatever access or resources he needs,” Mara and Rooney said in a statement. “Our sole motive here is to get the truth and then share Mr. Mueller’s findings with the public.”
Mueller’s investigation has the power to damage the league because the probe is examining the behavior of those at NFL headquarters.
“He will have a lot of power to remind people about these promises,” Bromwich said. “These investigations can be a little tricky, but in many ways they are even more difficult if they take place behind a curtain rather than in the public eye.”