Surprise: The NFL's "no strings attached," $16 million donation to the National Institutes of Health in 2012 apparently came with a lot of strings attached.
That's according to a new congressional report that says the NFL tried to influence the results of a government research project into concussions.
The newly released 91-page report says the NFL "improperly attempted to influence the grant selection process." It also refuted the league's complaints about the study's lead researcher, calling the complaints "unfounded."
The NFL was not necessarily thrilled the research grant was awarded to Boston University's Dr. Robert Stern, an expert in the field of neurodegenerative disease. He's has been critical of the NFL.
The project is still moving forward with Boston University and Dr. Stern — but the NFL withdrew its funding. Instead, taxpayers will be footing the $16 million bill.
The congressional report is especially critical of Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, an adviser to the NFL. He also applied for the grant, but Stern was chosen instead.
That's when, the report says, Ellenbogen became one of the league's "primary advocates" against Stern.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn't mentioned in the congressional report, and as of Monday, the NFL hadn't responded to these developments.