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Carmen Policy (born January 26, 1943) is an attorney and American football executive who is best known for his front office work for the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s and 1990s. Policy, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1983 as vice president and counsel. In 1991, he became president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco 49ers and played a key role in the 49ers Super Bowl victories in 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1995.
Policy was graduated in 1963 from Youngstown University. He earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1966. While practicing law, he was listed in the industry publication The Best Lawyers in America. Policy and his wife, Gail, designed and endowed the Carmen and Gail Policy Clinical Fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center, which promotes advocacy of civil rights issues.
In 1994, he was named the National Football League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly, as voted on by NFL owners and executives. The Sporting News and GQ also named him one of the Most Influential People in Professional Sports.
He would later become involved with the current incarnation of the Cleveland Browns. While serving as President & CEO of the Browns, Policy served as a member of the NFL Business Ventures Committee as well as the Super Bowl Advisory Committee and the Los Angeles Market Advisory Group. He also served as a member of the NFL Finance Committee.
Policy stepped down as president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Browns on May 1, 2004, after five years. His son, Ed Policy, was the Deputy Commissioner of the Arena Football League, and took over in an interim basis after commissioner David Baker stepped down two days before the Arenabowl in 2008. His other son, James Policy is an orthopedic surgeon in Children's Hospital Oakland specializing in pediatric spine surgery.
Carmen Policy and team Vice President Dwight Clark agreed to pay $600,000 today for violating the NFL salary cap while with the San Francisco 49ers. The settlement calls for Policy to pay $400,000 and Clark $200,000.
The principal issues involved provisions included in quarterback Jim Druckenmiller’s rookie contract, deals signed by linebacker Lee Woodall and tight end Brent Jones, and allegations of an undisclosed agreement involving quarterback Steve Young.
“Although there are many legal and factual differences of opinion over many of the issues, everyone connected with the matter agrees that this settlement is in the best interests of everyone involved, including the NFL,” Policy said in a statement.
As part of the settlement, the 49ers agreed to pay $300,000 and surrender two draft choices — their fifth pick in the 2001 draft and third selection in 2002.
In addition, the 49ers agreed to recognize a commitment of $483,000 that the club’s prior ownership and management made to Jones.
The settlement, made with the agreement of the NFL Players Association, also calls for the player agents involved — Leigh Steinberg, Jeff Moorad and Gary Wichard — to pay substantial fines to settle claims.
It also permits Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to suspend for up to one year any club executive found to have entered into an undisclosed agreement or payment, and increases from $2 million to $3.5 million the amount clubs can be fined for entering into undisclosed payments or agreements.
The commissioner also may take two first-round draft choices from teams violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement with side deals.
The CBA also permits the commissioner to fine individual club personnel up to $250,000 each for their roles in any undisclosed agreements. Players and agents may be fined the same amount by the CBA Special Master.