Packers are in the off-the-field spotlight

The Green Bay Packers are suddenly in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, with two women alleging sexual assault against a cornerback. The alleged incident took place at a charity golf outing.

The last thing NFL teams want or need is a scandal. The "Love Boat" incident effectively ended the Vikings careers of both Daunte Culpepper and Mike Tice. Ben Roethlisberger has become the poster boy for bad behavior and it has reflected badly on the Steelers organization.

The Packers appear to be the latest in the middle of scandal, as two women have claimed that second-year Green Bay cornerback Brandon Underwood sexually assaulted them at a condominium near the Wisconsin Dells resort area early Saturday morning, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Seven Packers players were questioned by police – QB Matt Flynn, FB Korey Hall, OG Josh Sitton, LBs Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, and S Khalil Jones. None of the other players were suspected of any wrongdoing, although all were said to have been drinking. The players were at the resort to take part in a charity golf tournament hosted by Matthews.

Four of the players – Matthews, Jones, Flynn and Sitton – are scheduled to take part in a charity softball game today hosted by Donald Driver.

Considering the stance the league has taken for personal conduct of players – Roethlisberger is currently scheduled to serve a six-game suspension despite not being charged by Georgia authorities – the NFL is taking a no-tolerance policy. While Underwood is not a top-end talent and won't have an effect on the success or failure of the Packers in 2010, the organization is finding itself front and center of a controversy that is giving the team a black eye.

While the process of law enforcement sifting through the allegations to see if it warrants an arrest in still ongoing, regardless of how the case develops the Packers have joined the off-field pantheon of teams that are going to be under the microscope for the wrong reasons.


  • Although E.J. Henderson told VU and the rest of the assembled media that he will be "ready to rock" when the regular season opens Sept. 9 at New Orleans, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier told ESPN-1500 AM Radio that, at is currently stands, the Vikings are heading into training camp expecting second-year man Jasper Brinkley will be the starter. However, from what VU was told by Frazier Friday, when Henderson gets medical clearance, it is likely his job to reclaim. The reality may be on the same line of thinking that the team is going into the 2010 season on the assumption that Tarvaris Jackson is the starting QB … until No. 4 comes through the door.

  • It would appear the Vikings and Saints have enlisted their area military personnel into their newfound rivalry with the Saints. Earlier this week, Visanthe Shiancoe was given a Minnesota National Guard shooting target – a photo of Osama bin Laden that said, "I'm Darren Sharper" and had a "42" (Sharper's number) on bin Laden's clothes. Saturday morning, Saints defensive end Will Smith visited a Louisiana National Guard unit and a captain in the audience yelled out, "Hey, Will! You gotta hit Brett Favre for me! That's right, get that old man out of the game!" Smith was reported to have smiled and given an affirmative head nod in response.

  • Favre made headlines by telling the Southern Mississippi baseball team that if it advanced to the College World Series he would come back in 2010. Facing elimination Saturday, the Golden Eagles blew out Jackson State 19-6 to remain alive in the Auburn Regional.

  • We have another precinct heard from. In its 2010 Pro Football Preview, The Sporting News predicts the Vikings to win the NFC North for the third straight year with a record of 12-4. And then they predict the Vikings to lose to Dallas in the NFC Championship Game.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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