The NFL’s investigation into comments made by former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson suggesting he was incentivized to lose could not substantiate the allegations.
That announcement came on Monday, with the league saying:
“Following a 60-day independent review into comments made by former Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson that the Browns paid or otherwise provided incentives to lose games during the 2016-17 seasons, former U.S. Attorney and SEC chair Mary Jo White and a team of lawyers from the Debevoise firm determined that none of the allegations could be substantiated.”
The Browns called the allegations “completely fabricated,” and Jackson eventually backed off them in following interviews.
“Even though Hue recanted his allegations a short time after they were made, it was important to us and to the integrity of the game to have an independent review of the allegations,” a team spokesperson said in a statement. “We welcomed an investigation and we are confident the results will show, as we’ve previously stated, that these allegations are categorically false. We have fully cooperated with Mary Jo White and look forward to the findings.”
Jackson did not meet with investigators. An NFL press release reported “full cooperation” from Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and other past and present members of the organization.
Jackson came forward with his own tanking allegations soon after former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores accused team owner Stephen Ross of offering him $100,000 for every loss in his lawsuit against the team and NFL.
The former head coach is currently the head coach at Grambling State University. During his time with the Browns, he went 3-36-1 from 2016 until he was fired eight games into the 2018 season.