Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
After former NFL head coach Hue Jackson alleged that he was incentivized to lose on purpose during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns, the league is reportedly investigating the organization.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that the Browns maintain that they have nothing to hide after denying Jackson’s allegations.
“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.”
The investigation was first reported by Gary Grambling and Connor Orr of Sports Illustrated. A league spokesperson confirmed to Cabot that the Browns were being probed.
“We can confirm the NFL engaged former SEC chair Mary Jo White in February to look into allegations made by Hue Jackson against the Cleveland Browns,” the NFL spokesperson said. “The review is ongoing and is expected to conclude soon.”
White is also leading an investigation into allegations made by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who also stated that he was offered money by team owner Stephen Ross to lose games during the 2019 season in order to secure a higher draft pick. Flores made those claims as part of his lawsuit against the NFL alleging racial discrimination in hiring practices.
Jackson is currently the head coach at Grambling State University. He somewhat backed off his accusations against the Browns in February, saying he wasn’t paid for losing games but his situation “has some similarities” to Flores’.
The Browns dismissed Jackson’s allegations in a statement at the time, calling them “completely fabricated.”
Cleveland went 3-36-1 in two-plus seasons under Jackson, who was fired during the 2018 campaign.