Not long after Matt Patricia's first NFL Draft as Lions head coach, the Detroit News published a report detailing allegations more than 20 years old against Patricia. The NFL investigated those allegations and has reportedly cleared Patricia of any wrongdoing.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the NFL will not punish Patricia or the Lions over the allegations that resurfaced.

According to the Detroit News' report -- and later confirmed by police reports and Patricia himself -- the former Patriots defensive coordinator was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault while on spring break in 1996. 

Patricia was later cleared of all charges and, over the last two weeks, has publicly stated his innocence in the matter over and over

"I'm here to defend my honor and clear my name," Patricia said at a Lions press conference. "Twenty-two years ago I was falsely accused of something very serious, very serious allegations. There were claims made about me that never happened. While I'm thankful on one level that the process worked and the case was dismissed, at the same time I was never given the opportunity to defend myself or to allow to push back with the truth to clear my name.

"This was something that was very traumatic to me when I was 21 years old and once it was finally addressed I tried to put it behind me," he continued. "For those of you who are just getting to know me, and for those of you who have known me a long time, you should know I was raised the right way, by two amazing parents who taught me to know the difference between right and wrong, to stand up for what's right and to stand up for those who have been wronged."

Patricia was formally hired by the Lions on Feb. 5, although many believed he was their chosen candidate well before then, only NFL rules prohibited Detroit from making the hire official until after the Patriots completed their playoff run (ask the Colts how that works out). Patricia was one of the hottest head coaching candidates on the market this offseason and it stands to reason that either Detroit or another interested team should have caught the information about Patricia's arrest.

The Lions said they were unaware of the situation and the allegations until after it was brought to light by the media. 

"As an organization, the Detroit Lions take allegations regarding sexual assault or harassment seriously. Coach Patricia was the subject of a standard pre-employment background check which did not disclose this issue," part of a statement from the Lions read. "We have spoken to Coach Patricia about this at length as well as the attorney who represented him at the time. Based upon everything we have learned, we believe and have accepted Coach Patricia's explanation and we will continue to support him. We will continue to work with our players and the NFL to further awareness of and protections for those individuals who are the victims of sexual assault or violence."

There was a possibility of both the team and Patricia facing discipline -- the team for not catching the court case during their background check and Patricia for the actual allegations. However the NFL concluded, likely because the only information to gather comes from an individual's account of the situation and that individual (Patricia) is professing his innocence, that there was no punishment to be meted out. 

Do not be surprised if we hear more about this from media reports digging into the incident, but the NFL is closing its discipline case on Patricia for now.