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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NFL Head: Simpson Violence Not Linked to Football

CHAUTAUQUA, New York -- Commissioner Paul Tagliabue of the National Football League dismissed suggestions that the deaths of O.J. Simpson's ex-wife and her friend were a product of the game.


"It's not the NFL's problem or football's problem, it's O.J. Simpson's problem," he said Tuesday.


"It's sad for everybody who's ever known O.J. or watched him," Tagliabue said. "It's traumatic for the families of the victims involved. But I think it would be extremely unfair to say that it's a product of the game, when it's not."


Simpson, an NFL Hall of Famer, has been charged in the stabbing deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson has pleaded innocent to two counts of murder.


Tagliabue made the comments at a news conference before an address at the Chautauqua Institution, an educational and recreational retreat in upstate New York. During a question-and-answer session after his speech, he was again asked about violence in the game, leading several women in the crowd to applaud. But the commissioner said the connection is overblown, in part due to a "total sham" report that incidents of wife-beating increase on Super Bowl Sunday.


Although there is more contact in football than in other sports, Tagliabue said the sport does a better job controlling "violence outside the rules" than basketball or baseball, which have had problems recently with brawling.


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Don Shula's upcoming 32nd training camp might be his last one.


The Miami Dolphins' coach, whose contract expires after the coming season, said Tuesday he hasn't decided whether he wants an extension from new owner H. Wayne Huizenga.


"I'm not ready to make the commitment that I want to coach for three more years, and I'm not ready to make the commitment that this is going to be my last year of being on the field," Shula said.


The 64-year-old coach spoke with reporters on his first day back from vacation. He discussed his future with Huizenga last week at Shula's summer home in North Carolina.


Huizenga has said the decision about a contract extension is up to Shula, who last year broke George Halas' NFL record for career coaching victories.


Shula said he might wait until after this season to make his decision.


"The health factor certainly would be a consideration, along with how we did on the field," he said.


Last season, the Dolphins were riddled by injuries, finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs.


Shula's current three-year contract expires after this season. In the past, when the Dolphins were owned by the Robbie family, Shula signed an extension prior to the final year of his existing contract.


Training camp begins Monday. There's been speculation Shula will be replaced after this season by Jimmy Johnson, the former coach of the Miami Hurricanes and Dallas Cowboys.