One of Rozelle's most pressing tasks now is to make certain that any betting player will be detected immediately and punished. He already has looked ahead to this. At the spring meeting of the National Football League the owners will be clearly informed of their responsibilities in surveillance over their players. Rozelle will insist on close contact between clubs and local law-enforcement agencies. It was from the Detroit police department that the Lions first learned of the undesirable associations of Karras; their failure to report this at once to the league office really accounts for their $4,000 fine. Rozelle used the second count—that of allowing unauthorized personnel on the sidelines during a game—to bring the total penalty as high as he could by fining the club the maximum on two counts instead of one.
Rozelle will ask for more money to strengthen the league investigative force, too, although the NFL spends more money on surveillance than any professional sports organization other than the Thoroughbred Protective Association. He would like to be given the power to assess fines in excess of $2,000 against clubs or players on his own judgment instead of having to resort to the club owners for permission.
In the three years that he has been commissioner of the National Football League, Rozelle has had many tough problems. He saw his league win a $10 million antitrust suit brought against it by the American Football League; he lobbied for and saw passed legislation that allowed the NFL to consolidate its television on a single network; he settled the dispute between the Los Angeles Ram owners and set up a satisfactory bidding procedure for purchase of the club; he presided over expansion of the league by the addition of Dallas and Minnesota, and he persuaded the Chicago Cardinals to move to St. Louis.
He has been a strong commissioner. It is hoped that he will continue to be. In his strength may lie the future of professional football.