NFL Discipline: How Fines, Suspensions Are Decided
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NEW YORK (AP) — The trail from the field to NFL offices to announcements of fines and suspensions for illegal hits.
—Games are monitored in the league’s officiating command center in New York. Any hits, particularly ones that draw penalty flags that the observer in New York thinks might be fineable fouls are logged.
—Game officials make a report that is presented to officiating executives in New York.
“What they put into their report is certainly taken into consideration very much; they are the ones on the spot at the stadiums,” says NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, who ultimately hands out discipline. “They note if it is an egregious foul, as will the officiating observer at every game.”
—On Sunday night and all day Monday, the New York officiating crew evaluates every play, particularly those marked for possible discipline. The crew’s reports are sent to director of football operations Merton Hanks and his staff.
“They will meticulously go through the videos and give their opinion to whether they think a discipline foul has occurred,” Anderson says. They will go through what rule was violated and recommend what the discipline should be.”
—In cases of flagrant fouls or where injuries are concerned — often called danger-zone fouls — Hanks brings the information to Anderson. They review the video together and, as necessary, also will consult with vice president of player personnel Joel Bussert, officiating chief Carl Johnson and his assistant David Coleman and VP of football operations Ron Hill.
—Anderson will make a recommendation to Commissioner Roger Goodell whether to issue a fine or a suspension.
—The league announces any discipline.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.