Steve Wilks

Steve Wilks Testifies That Cardinals Supplied Him With Burner Phone

Per ESPN’s Tisha Thompson, 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks was recently deposed as part of the arbitration claim that former Cardinals executive Terry McDonough filed against the Cardinals and owner Michael Bidwill. Wilks testified that, when he was Arizona’s head coach in 2018, the team — pursuant to orders from Bidwill and then-GM Steve Keim — gave him a burner phone in order to communicate with Keim during Keim’s suspension for extreme DUI.

“It was a directive from Keim as well as Bidwill,” Wilks said. “They both knew.”

Wilks went on to say that several top members of the club’s power structure were furnished with phones and instructions on how to use them. He testified that Keim had multiple phones, and that Bidwill and other execs communicated with Keim during the club’s contract negotiations with running back David Johnson. For his part, Wilks says that he used his burner phone only once, when Keim texted him to ask how things were going at practice.

Wilks’ testimony supports McDonough’s complaint, which alleges (among other things) that Bidwill sabotaged his former exec’s career in retaliation for McDonough’s objection to the plan to illegally communicate with Keim. As we detailed in April, the NFL would be forced to suspend Bidwill if it becomes clear that he engaged in the burner phone scheme. And, if some of McDonough’s other allegations are substantiated — for instance, he accuses Bidwill of treating a Black employee and two pregnant women poorly and creating “an environment of fear for minority employees” — Bidwill could face more significant repercussions. Indeed, McDonough argues that Bidwill’s conduct is “significantly worse” than that of Robert Sarver, the former owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns who was suspended by the NBA for a year and fined $10MM before ultimately selling the team.

Some addditional context is necessary here. As we also wrote in April, statements made by Cardinals PR consultant Jim McCarthy in response to McDonough’s claim may have created additional causes of action for McDonough that would allow him to take his fight to the public forum of a courthouse as opposed to the more sheltered arbitration setting, but it does not appear as if he has attempted to do so (at least not with respect to his claims against Bidwill and the Cardinals). His complaint remains in arbitration, which is conducted by an NFL-appointed arbitrator and generally weighted in the team’s favor.

Additionally, Wilks’ attorney did not permit cross-examination during his deposition, which was therefore not admitted into the record (though arbitrator Jeffrey Mishkin elected to keep the video and transcript of the deposition rather than destroy it, as Cardinals attorneys requested).

“As much as we would like to share the truth of what transpired, the confidentiality order in place prohibits us from doing so,” the Cardinals said in a statement to ESPN.

It is also worth noting that Wilks is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit alleging racial discrimination originally filed by former Dolphins head coach and current Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores. In that action, Wilks makes an allegation that could be a reference to the burner phone caper and further avers that he was wrongfully terminated after his one season as the Cardinals’ HC.

Wilks’ deposition testimony is, of course, consistent with the assertions he makes in his lawsuit. He said he did not want to communicate with Keim during the GM’s suspension, but as a first-year Black coach, he did not feel comfortable voicing his concerns to Bidwill directly. Instead, he asked McDonough to speak to Bidwill on his behalf, and he witnessed a “heated conversation” between McDonough and Bidwill shortly thereafter. From that point forward, Wilks says, the owner’s demeanor towards him changed.

Wilks also testified that, during his tenure as HC, Bidwill berated him multiple times. One such incident, he says, took place over speakerphone while Wilks was driving home with his nine-year-old son after a game. He added that Bidwill berated a scout who is Black for parking in the owner’s parking space.

The entire ESPN piece is well-worth a read for all NFL fans, and is naturally of particular interest to Cardinals supporters.

Cardinals’ Terry McDonough Accuses Michael Bidwill Of Cheating, Gross Misconduct

Cardinals executive Terry McDonough filed an arbitration claim against Michael Bidwill, accusing the owner of cheating and gross misconduct. McDonough’s filing claims the owner sabotaged his career in retaliation for an objection to support a plan to illegally communicate with then-suspended GM Steve Keim, Adam Schefter of reports.

A former GM candidate, McDonough accuses Bidwill of hatching a scheme in which McDonough and then-head coach Steve Wilks would communicate with Keim using burner phones during the GM’s team-imposed suspension in 2018. The Cards suspended Keim after his extreme DUI arrest that year. McDonough’s claim indicates he and Wilks objected to Bidwill’s plan. Upon voicing concerns about the alleged plan, McDonough said Bidwill wrote him up for insubordination and later followed through with a demotion. The demotion occurred in 2019, according to Stewart Mandel, Kalyn Kahler and Mike Sando of The Athletic (subscription required).

A Cardinals exec for the past 10 years, McDonough was a finalist for the 49ers’ GM job that ended up going to John Lynch in 2017. He has hovered off the radar since but has been an NFL staffer for more than 30 years. The claim also accuses Bidwill of sabotaging Wilks’ first HC opportunity — which ended after one season, a 3-13 year in 2018 — and berating McDonough since he came forward with objections to the 2018 plan. Wilks, whom the Cardinals replaced with Kliff Kingsbury in 2019, joined Brian Floresclass-action discrimination lawsuit last year. Wilks alleged the Cardinals gave him little chance to succeed and “unfairly and discriminatorily” fired him at the end of the ’18 season.

The Cardinals, who have since replaced Keim after 10 seasons in the GM chair, have denied McDonough’s claims, calling them “outlandish.” McDonough is seeking damages for breach of contract and emotional distress.

Keim’s suspension, which ran from July to August of 2018, prevented him from communication with Cardinals personnel. The filing indicates McDonough and Wilks voiced objections to the plan July 23, 2018. McDonough and Wilks followed through with Bidwill’s alleged scheme and used the burner phones to talk with Keim. McDonough is still in possession of the burner phone, according to his claim, which includes a picture of the device.

Once the Cardinals’ VP of player personnel, McDonough is listed on the Cardinals’ website as a senior personnel executive. McDonough informed Bidwill in 2019 he recorded phone conversations between he and Keim during the GM’s suspension, according to The Athletic. The demotion to senior personnel executive, per the claim, occurred shortly after McDonough’s text to Bidwill regarding the Keim recordings. The demotion cut McDonough’s salary from $550K to $330K. In 2022, McDonough said he was demoted again — from seventh to ninth in command. The Cards had extended him back in 2017, but this relationship has gone south since.

When Keim took a leave of absence last year — a hiatus that led to his permanent departure from the team — Bidwill installed execs Quentin Harris and Adrian Wilson as front office bosses in the interim. McDonough has alleged his refusal to go along with Bidwill’s plan led to career advancement opportunities disappearing. McDonough has not interviewed for a GM position since 2017; the claim also indicates Bidwill “bullied, belittled and criticized” McDonough in front of coaches and scouts during two meetings.

Regarding the phone scheme, the Cardinals denied Bidwill orchestrated it. The team said, via Schefter, another Cards exec “interfered with the protocol of that suspension” and credits the owner of directing the phones be retrieved and all communication with Keim stopped. McDonough’s filing also accuses Bidwill of treating a Black employee and two pregnant women poorly and creating “an environment of fear for minority employees.” Denying this claim as well, the Cardinals labeled it “a transparent smear that is truly beneath contempt.”

Under league rules, the Cardinals have 20 days to respond to McDonough’s filing. The NFL will handle the matter through its arbitration policy, per The Athletic. McDonough has been in the NFL since interning with the 49ers in 1989. He is the son of famed reporter Will McDonough, brother of ESPN play-by-play man Sean McDonough and former Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough.

Latest On Brian Flores Lawsuit

March has been dominated by the flurry of free agent moves taking place around the league, but it has also seen an important development in the ongoing lawsuit led by Brian Flores. The ex-Dolphins head coach saw mixed results in a ruling on the matter of arbitration being used to settle his claims against the league and a number of its teams.

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled that Flores can pursue his racial discrimination suit against the NFL and the Broncos, Giants and Texans in open court, as detailed by Larry Neumeister of the Associated Press. The NFL had attempted to keep the matter an internal one, and handle Flores’ claims through arbitration.

That will be the route taken to determine his case against the Dolphins, however. The same is also true of co-plaintiffs Steve Wilks and Ray Horton, who joined the suit last April. The latter two added complaints against the Cardinals and Titans, respectively, for decisions affecting them in the past. Wilks argued in the suit that Arizona hired him in 2018 as a “bridge coach” with no long-term prospects of retaining the position. Horton has alleged that Tennessee conducted a “sham” head coaching interview with him in 2016.

Per the judge’s ruling, Wilks’ and Horton’s claims (as well as Flores’ outstanding ones against the Dolphins) will be handled through arbitration owing to their respective contractual statuses at the time the alleged malpractices took place. In a statement, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will “move promptly with arbitrations… and seek to dismiss the remaining claims.”

He added, however, that the NFL “recognize[s] there is more work to be done” on the matter of diversity and inclusion. The judge’s decision was based in part on her concern about the hiring practices in the league, and added that this case has shined “an unflattering spotlight” on the NFL in this regard. Flores, who drew head coaching interest from the Cardinals before being hired as defensive coordinator of the Vikings, is now clear to test most of his claims in front of a jury.

No decision has been announced regarding whether or not NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will personally oversee the arbitration cases. It is expected he will do so, although the judge also noted she will have the authority to review his findings if he does not delegate to another member of the league. With a path now cleared to have elements of this case heard in open court, it will remain a storyline to watch in the near future.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

2023 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, 10 NFL teams hired new head coaches. Following the Panthers, Broncos and Texans’ hires, this year’s vacancy count sits at two. Last year’s Saints and Buccaneers moves, however, showed these job openings can emerge at unexpected points.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 2-14-23 (1:30pm CT)

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Coaching Notes: Panthers, Kocurek, Leftwich, Titans

Yesterday, Joseph Person of The Athletic provided a breakdown of the Panthers‘ recent search for a new head coach that ended in the hiring of Frank Reich. There were a few notes of interest that we took away from the behind the scenes look.

The first note of interest is the revelation that, when interim head coach Steve Wilks interviewed for the official role, he laid out his full offensive plan for the search committee. Part of Wilks’ offensive plan relied on the pursuit of Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson as his offensive coordinator. Johnson’s year coaching a phenomenal season by quarterback Jalen Hurts made him a name to watch for many of the open offensive coordinator jobs around the league. He did end up interviewing with the Rams and Jets for jobs that went to Mike LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett, respectively.

A second note of interest is likely a clue as to why Wilks didn’t end up as the official head coach of the Panthers. Of the nine candidates Carolina looked at for the position, seven had offensive backgrounds. Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer has a belief that “offensive coordinators-turned-head coaches might have an edge in game management.” That explains why Wilks was so detailed in his offensive plan and, perhaps, how much of an uphill battle he faced.

Lastly, it was reported that Reich was becoming the clear choice for the job by his second interview. “The first time he came in, he was dialed in, laid out his plan,” Fitterer said. “Then when he came back in the second time, he took that plan and went deeper, went to a different level.” Reich was offered the position the next day, prompting an immediate response from the legal team representing Wilks and Brian Flores in their lawsuit accusing the league of racial discrimination.

Here are a few other notes of coaching developments occurring around the NFL:

  • Even though Wilks didn’t get the head coaching position he coveted, he ended up landing a top coordinator position in the league with the 49ers, following the departure of DeMeco Ryans. San Francisco defensive line coach Kris Kocurek received some interest for the Texans defensive coordinator position under his former coordinator and was in consideration for the job that Ryans vacated and Wilks took. Wilks apparently was able to convince Kocurek to stay in the Bay Area, keeping a respected defensive assistant on his staff, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
  • Former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich could be headed to the college ranks, following his recent dismissal from Tampa Bay. According to Grace Remington of 247Sports, Leftwich reached out to Notre Dame about the offensive coordinator position vacated by Tommy Rees, who left to become the offensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa. Leftwich has reportedly remained in contact with the head coach of the Fighting Irish, Marcus Freeman, and remains a strong contender for the job.
  • A slew of coaching updates in Nashville were provided earlier today, with a few smaller assignments sliding under notice. Formerly the running backs coach over star Derrick Henry, Tony Dews has transitioned to the tight ends coaching position for the Titans, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. It was recently reported that former Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust was making her way to Tennessee. Wilson provided clarification that she has been brought on in a defensive quality control role. Justin Hamilton will reportedly join her in a similar role. Finally, Wilson provided news of a departure, reporting that secondary coach Anthony Midget will not be retained in 2023.

49ers To Hire Steve Wilks As DC

Another high-profile defensive mind has found his new NFL home. Just days after losing DeMeco Ryans to Houston’s head coaching position, the 49ers are hiring Steve Wilks to take his place as defensive coordinator (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero).

Ryans was one of the hottest names on the head coaching radar in 2023, and for quite some time it was widely expected that he would wind up with the Texans. Once that became official, the 49ers had to quickly pivot to a dwindling number of experienced candidates to replace him. With it known that Ryans would be on the move, San Francisco hosted Wilks for a DC interview yesterday.

That meeting obviously went well, as it has quickly landed the 53-year-old a highly desirable posting. Wilks finished the 2022 season as interim head coach of the Panthers, after Carolina cut ties with Matt Rhule amidst a disappointing start to the season. Very shortly after that decision, Carolina’s front office made it clear that Wilks had an opportunity to earn the position on a full-time basis depending on his performance.

Under Wilks and his re-worked temporary staff, the Panthers enjoyed a notable resurgence. Despite trading away running back Christian McCaffrey, the team’s offense remained consistently productive on the ground, and their defense enjoyed successful spells. Overall, the Panthers went 6-6 under Wilks, keeping them in contention to win the NFC South and thus earn an unexpected playoff berth until very late in the campaign. It was clear that he was the players’ preference to be retained as head coach moving forward.

Wilks was a finalist for the job in Charlotte, but that ultimately went to Frank Reich. Upon the ex-Colts HC’s hiring, it became clear that Wilks would need to head elsewhere for his next opportunity. In San Francisco, he will inherit an elite unit which boasts stars at multiple levels of the defense and helped lead the team to the NFC title game despite never-ending injury issues at the quarterback position.

This will mark a return to the NFC West for Wilks, who spent the 2018 season as Arizona’s head coach. The rebuilding team went 3-13 during Josh Rosen‘s ill-fated rookie campaign, and Wilks was dismissed after that single campaign in favor of Kliff Kingsbury. His firing represents the reason for Wilks’ involvement in Brian Flores‘ ongoing racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and numerous teams. The latter was hired by the Vikings to lead their defense yesterday.

With Wilks, Flores and Ejro Evero (hired by the Panthers this past weekend) now having found their new NFL homes in quick succession, the DC landscape around the league has become much clearer. Now, only the Broncos and Texans remain with respect to teams on the lookout for new defensive coordinators. Their respective decisions should come very soon, as the coaching dominoes continue to fall around the league.

49ers Eyeing Chris Harris For DC Interview

Chris Harris was reportedly heading from Washington to Tennessee, but there could be a change of plans. According to Josina Anderson (via Twitter), the 49ers are hoping to interview Harris for their defensive coordinator vacancy. They have moved forward with an interview request, Adam Schefter of tweets.

[RELATED: Texans Hire DeMeco Ryans As HC]

After most recently serving as Washington’s defensive backs coach, we heard earlier this month that Harris was set to join the Titans as their their defensive pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. No deal was finalized, leaving the door open for Harris renege on the agreement. A promotion to defensive coordinator would obviously be an opportunity the 40-year-old couldn’t refuse, but there’s still a good chance he lands in Tennessee if things don’t work out with San Francisco.

Harris has spent the past three years with Washington, helping develop a number of defensive backs behind veterans Kendall Fuller and Bobby McCain. Washington’s defense only allowed 3,252 passing yards this past season, good for fourth in the NFL. They also allowed opposing QBs to complete only 59.9 percent of their passes, the second-best mark in the NFL. As a result, Harris became a hot name on the coaching circuit, with the Bears also making a run at him.

The 49ers are officially in the market for a new defensive coordinator after DeMeco Ryans agreed to become the new Texans head coach. We heard earlier today that the 49ers requested an interview with former Panthers interim HC Steve Wilks, and Anderson confirms that the organization is set to speak with the coach. Anderson also notes that Vic Fangio is also in contention for the gig; Fangio was reportedly heading to the Dolphins to become their defensive coordinator, but that move has yet to become official.

49ers To Interview Steve Wilks For DC

DeMeco Ryans is now the Texans’ head coach. The 49ers had long prepared for the scenario in which Ryans departs, and they are moving ahead in this direction.

The 49ers requested an interview with former Panthers interim HC Steve Wilks for the likely soon-to-be-vacant defensive coordinator position, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. Wilks was a finalist for the Panthers’ HC job, but Frank Reich ended up as Carolina’s hire. Wilks is prepared to coach elsewhere in 2023. He will move forward with a 49ers interview Monday, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

Carolina still has Wilks under contract, Mike Garafolo of tweets, but after the team hired Reich, it seems a separation is imminent. The Panthers interviewed Wilks and Reich twice, but the team was long expected to hire an offense-oriented HC. Wilks made the process more difficult, clearly, as he went 6-6 as Carolina’s interim boss. But his second stay with the Panthers will likely be capped at one year.

Re-emerging as a key NFL name after a two-year hiatus — one of those seasons spent as Missouri’s DC — Wilks oversaw one of the better interim efforts in a long time by guiding the Panthers, who were 1-4 under Matt Rhule, to a 7-10 mark. The Panthers vied for the NFC South lead in Week 17, but a loss to the Buccaneers ended their rally. The Tampa Bay defeat, in which Tom Brady torched Carolina’s secondary, likely affected Wilks’ chances of having his interim tag removed. The Panthers rehired Wilks — a Ron Rivera assistant from 2012-17 — as their secondary coach last year, and David Tepper promoted him to steer the ship post-Rhule.

Wilks is part of the Brian Flores-led discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and multiple teams, and his attorney expressed disappointment shortly after the Panthers went with Reich. But Wilks released a statement thanking the Panthers in the wake of their Reich hire, potentially signaling he will move on with his career over adding the Panthers to the suit.

The 49ers had Vic Fangio on their radar as a Ryans replacement, but the former San Francisco DC is taking over as Miami’s defensive leader. The 49ers have lost their past two DCs — Ryans and Robert Saleh — to HC jobs. Wilks is 9-19 as a head coach, with his one-year Cardinals stint leading to the sub-.500 record. But he improved his stock this past season in Carolina. The Charlotte native does not have a history with Kyle Shanahan, but he has been an NFL assistant since 2005.

Panthers’ HC Hire Comes With Some Potential Controversy

Carolina broke the seal on head coaching hires this offseason when it announced the decision to hire former Colts head coach Frank Reich today to officially replace Matt Rhule, spurning interim head coach Steve Wilks in the process. A closer look at the Panthers’ recent hires, though, may bring us back to an issue the NFL has been struggling to fight in recent years, and may lead Carolina into pending litigation against the NFL and multiple other teams, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

On January 8, nearly three weeks ago and a mere two hours after the Panthers’ regular season had come to a close, Reich’s daughter, Hannah Reich Fairman, announced that she had officially accepted a job with Carolina on Twitter. On its face, there’s nothing wrong with Fairman’s hiring. Even in a league rife with nepotism, the personnel addition couldn’t even be considered as such as Reich didn’t yet work for the Panthers.

Wilks already has a storied role in the league’s history of racial discrimination. Wilks is involved in the pending Brian Flores racial discrimination case against the league and several teams, having sued the Cardinals. After the announcement that Wilks was being passed over for Reich, Wilks’ lawyer in the suit, Doug Wigdor, implied that Carolina would soon find itself added to the lawsuit as a defendant, as reported by Florio. The argument on Wilks’ behalf is that racial bias affected his chances to remain the head coach in Carolina on an official basis and that his existing involvement in the pending lawsuit against the NFL led the Panthers to consider him in a lesser capacity.

“We are shocked and disturbed that after the incredible job Coach Wilks did as the interim coach, including bringing the team back into playoff contention and garnering the support of the players and fans, that he was passed over for the head coach position by (Panthers owner) David Tepper,” Wigdor averred in his statement. “There is a legitimate race problem in the NFL, and we can assure you that we will have more to say in the coming days.”

Whether or not Fairman’s hiring holds any wrongdoing, it immediately becomes a point of interest in the eventual litigation. The theory would be that the Panthers knew that Reich would eventually become their head coach when they hired Fairman and strung any other candidates along for a sham coaching search that made a mockery of the NFL’s diversity hiring rules and efforts. Efforts like the Rooney Rule have been minimized into red tape that has NFL franchises perfunctorily going through mandatory motions with zero intention.

If Reich’s appointment was a done deal at the time of Fairman’s hiring, it becomes a key example of the league’s issues with racial discrimination, and Wilks case gains much more evidential validity. In order to prove that theory, an investigation will have to be undertaken to review all communications and question those involved in the hiring process.