Belichick Fined $500,000, Patriots Stripped of At Least One Draft Pick
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and stripped the team of at least one draft pick, possibly its first-round selection next spring, for using videotaping equipment to try to steal the New York Jets' play signals during a game last Sunday.
The Patriots will lose their first-round draft choice if they reach the playoffs this season, the league announced tonight. If they don't reach the postseason, they'll be stripped of their second- and third-round selections. The Patriots were fined $250,000, although Goodell concluded that franchise owner Robert Kraft was not aware of Belichick's sign-stealing scheme before the league's investigation began.
Goodell considered suspending Belichick, according to the league's announcement, but decided against it because he felt the fine and loss of draft pick or picks was "more significant and long-lasting."
In a letter to the Patriots, Goodell wrote that "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."
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Posted by: TERRELL HALE | September 14, 2007 9:08 AM
Posted by: prophet | September 14, 2007 12:02 PM
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