- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
NFL to fine clubs for series of flagrant hits
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NFL got back to football for a day.
Not on the fields, of course, with the lockout in its 10th week. In the meeting rooms, where the league announced Tuesday it will punish teams next season if their players commit multiple flagrant hits that result in fines.
The 32 owners also voted unanimously to approve amendments to player safety rules offering more protection to defenseless players and putting more bite in penalties for launching.
Naturally, they discussed strategy for the labor impasse _ most of their afternoon session at these spring meetings was dedicated to that topic. But the big news was the commitment to the “notion of accountability,” according to league vice president Adolpho Birch.
Any punishment will be financial, although Birch didn’t rule out Commissioner Roger Goodell applying further sanctions such as stripping clubs of draft choices. Details such as the amount of the fines against clubs, or how many player fines would trigger punishment, have not been determined.
“From our end, we are looking at a system that is similar to the one we put in a couple years ago with respect to off-field conduct to really encourage clubs and encourage coaches to teach the proper techniques and to correct dangerous play on the field,” Birch said. “As a club’s total increases to a certain threshold, we will enforce some … payback to encourage clubs to stay below that threshold.
“We have to look at it in the context of the penalties that are already being imposed. The player himself will get penalized, which penalizes the team. Subsequently, the player could also be fined by the league. Under our thought process now, nothing would occur unless there was a league fine or suspension. That is what this policy is designed to do, not simply to punish a team for a penalty on top of the penalty itself, but really to look at things that are egregious enough to result in a fine or suspension by the league.”
The NFL began a crackdown on illegal hits, particularly those to defenseless players, last October. It threatened suspensions, but no players had to sit out games. However, Ray Anderson, the league’s chief disciplinarian, has said suspensions will be considered for illegal hits this season.
Now, clubs as well as the players are being put on notice that illegal hits will result in substantial discipline.
Birch would not identify which teams from 2010 would have been subject to fines had the policy been in place, but did say at least three teams might have been punished. One player, Pittsburgh All-Pro linebacker James Harrison, was fined $100,000 for flagrant hits last season.
The rules amendments for player safety included a measure aimed at keeping a player from launching himself into a defenseless opponent. A 15-yard penalty will result for anyone who leaves both feet before contact to spring forward and upward into an opponent and delivers a blow to the helmet with any part of his helmet.
Such tackles will also be subject to fines.
The definition of a defenseless receiver already has been extended. Now, a receiver who has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner even if both feet are on the ground is considered defenseless.
Defenseless players cannot be hit in the head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm or shoulder. The definition of such players now includes those throwing a pass; attempting or completing a catch without having time to ward off or avoid contact; a runner whose forward progress has been stopped by a tackler; kickoff or punt returners while the ball is in the air; kickers or punters during a kick or a return; a quarterback during a change of possession; a player who receives a blindside block from a blocker moving toward his own end zone.
Penalized players are subject to being ejected for flagrant fouls.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow