NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy noted on Thursday morning that the league will review the information with the Lions to see what the team has learned thus far. Here is McCarthy’s full statement.
“We will review the matter with the club to understand the allegations and what the club has learned.”
In The Detroit News story, team president Rod Wood threw his full support behind Patricia after learning of the allegations.
“I will tell you with 1,000-percent certainty that everything I’ve learned confirmed what I already knew about the man and would have no way changed our decision to make him our head coach,” Wood said.
Patricia offered an official statement on Wednesday maintaining his innocence.
“As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation,” Patricia wrote. “I firmly maintain my innocence, as I have always done.”
Patricia was never convicted of the crime, as the case was thrown out when the alleged victim failed to show up to court proceedings. However, that alone does not necessarily prevent the NFL from potentially taking action. Last year, the league conducted its own investigation into domestic violence charges against Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and handed down a six-game suspension, despite the fact he was never convicted.
At this point, there’s no indication the NFL has any intentions on handing down punishment, but it’s now clear they are looking into the situation.