The Colts engagement of Jim Tressel as a consultant highlights the absurdity of the NFL's discipline policy in light of the arbitrary suspension of Terrelle Pryor.
The NFL should form a Disciplinary Board that is empowered to enforce the League's conduct and disciplinary policies. The Board must have a set charter and membership with a formal appeals process to establish legitimacy of the NFL's discipline process. This would require a written policy that dictates the conduct and discipline policy including who it can be applied to.
One way of achieving buy-in from the players is to provide some player representation which is commonly done in Universities by having student representatives on their disciplinary boards.
A nine member Board should be formed with a Chair appointed by the NFL Commissioner. It could be anyone but preferably a person who is experienced in overseeing disciplinary actions such as a former judge. The players would achieve representation by the NFLPA nominating three former players that are subject to the Commissioner's approval. Another three members would nominate by the 32 teams from among team or NFL staffs. The final two members would be two former head or assistant coaches nominated by the 32 head coaches.
Appeals would go to the Commissioner's Office for adjudication.
I believe such a system would retain the Commissioner's strong role by making nominations subject to his confirmation and being the final adjudicator in case of an appeal to the Board's actions. It would provide team management, coaches and players representation since they would be nominating the members. Finally, it would give fans the confidence that the NFL disciplinary system is not based on the whims of one person who acts as prosecutor, judge and jury.