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NFL hands down fines in Patriots spying case

The NFL has ruled on the New England Patriots spying case on Thursday night, fines imposed on Pats and head coach Bill Belichick.

NFL hands down fines in Patriots spying case The NFL ruling in the New England Patriots case is out - head coach Bill Belichick received the maximum fine of $500,000, the Patriots were fined $250,000 for violating league's policy and will take away their first-round 2008 draft choice if the Pats reach the playoffs. If the New England Patriots do not qualify for the playoffs, they will loose their second- and third-round picks.

 NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to the Patriots:

 "This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field. I specifically considered whether to impose a suspension on Coach Belichick. I have determined not to do so, largely because I believe that the discipline I am imposing of a maximum fine and forfeiture of a first-round draft choice, or multiple draft choices, is in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension."

 The fines come after the New England Patriots were caught videotaping defensive signals in the season opener against the Jets. The camera and film were seized before the end of the first quarter, thus Goodell has determined that the videotaping did not change the outcome of the Patriots-Jets game on Sunday. Commissioner Roger Goodell also believes that the club's ownership was unaware of the illegal actions, but handed down fines to the club, because "His [Coach Belichick's] actions and decisions are properly attributed to the club".

Published on 09/13/2007

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