NFLPA defends Bloch

The NFL Players Association said there shouldn't be any controversy surrounding arbitrator Richard Bloch, a Redskins season-ticket holder. Bloch's ruling awarded returner Chad Morton to Washington on Monday.

Richard Berthelsen, the general counsel for the NFLPA, said Bloch, in his 15th year as an arbitrator for the NFL, told both parties before the hearings started Thursday about his tickets, adding that he doesn't always use them. Berthelsen said the Jets' lawyer joked that if Berthelsen wasn't using the tickets to ''let me know.''

''Everyone was aware [of Bloch's tickets] before one word was spoken,'' Berthelsen said. ''Everyone had the opportunity to say they wanted another arbitrator and no one said they had any problems.

''If he's not impartial, then the NFL wouldn't have accepted him to begin with, let alone continue to accept him. It's an inappropriate statement to make that somehow he was compromised.''

NFL representatives did not return calls. Bloch's decision can't be appealed.

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