Home NFL Rules Violation Review Process

NFL Rules Violation Review Process

Review Process for On-Field Rules Violations

The Steelers handed out a NFL-distributed 19-page pamphlet to the media on Tuesday entitled: STEP BY STEP: Review Process for On-Field Rules Violations.

The pamphlet’s distribution ironically came mere days after Mike Tomlin and Art Rooney II met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell concerning recent violations and accompanying fines handed down to the Steelers.

The process for a play to be reviewed for disciplinary action starts with the NFL Officiating Department reviewing every play of every game.

Any play that needs to be reviewed for possible discipline – whether penalized or not – is referred by the Officiating to the NFL Football Operations Department.

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson, a three-year football letterman at Stanford University (1973-75), and Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks, a nine-year veteran (1991-1999), make the initial decision to discipline a player for an on-field violation. Discipline typically consists of a fine.

Fine amounts are not random
As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, the fine schedule is provided to the NFLPA prior to training camp for its review.

The 2011 schedule of fines, which was accepted by the NFLPA, serves as the basis for the discipline. This schedule is provided to player prior to each season on the Player Policies Manual.

1st offense 2nd offense
Striking/kicking/kneeing $7,500 $15,000
Horse collar tackle $15,000 $30,000
Face Mask $7,500 $15,000
Leg Whip $15,000 $30,000
Late Hit $7,500 $15,000
Spearing $20,000 $40,000
Impermissible use of helmet $20,000 $40,000
Hit on defenseless player $20,000 $40,000
Blindside block $20,000 $40,000
Roughing the Passer $15,000 $30,000
Low Block $7,500 $15,000
Chop Block $7,500 $15,000

1st offense 2nd offense
Fighting $25,000 $50,000
Entering fight (active) $5,000 $10,000
Entering fight (no active) $2,500 $7,500

1st offense 2nd offense
Excessive profanity $10,000 $20,000
Taunting $7,500 $10,000
Football into stands $5,000 $10,000

The fine amounts listed are minimums. Other forms of discipline, including higher fine amounts and suspension, may be imposed based upon the play in question.

A player’s history is a factor in the level of discipline imposed. Players who were fined in 2009 or 2010, and whose fines were either partially or fully upheld, are considered repeat offenders and subject to more severe discipline.

Discipline in each case is evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. This includes determining whether the infraction occurred during the normal course of a game or outside the normal course of a game (such as flagrant, unnecessary, avoidable or gratuitous violations).

Once a decision to discipline has been reached, players are notified in writing via email, usually on Tuesday following a Sunday game.

That correspondence includes the following information:
? The decision on what the discipline is
? The specific rule violation that occurred to trigger the discipline
? Instructions on how to appeal
? Instructions on how to view video of the play in question

Players have three days from the time they are notified of the discipline to appeal. A hearing is then conducted within 10 days of receiving the notice of appeal.

Appeals for on-field rules violations are heard in accordance with a 2010 agreements between the NFL and NFLPA. The jointly appointed and compensated appeals are officers are Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Shell and former player and coach Ted Cottrell.

Only after appeals are decided upon by Art Shell or Ted Cottrell is money withheld from a player’s paycheck. As long as players file a timely appeal notice, they will no forgeit any money in advance of the appeal ruling.

Fine money from on-field player fines is donated through NFL Charities to programs for retired players via the NFL Player Care Foundation and the NFLPA’s Players Assistance Trust, as well as to support medial research through the Brian Piccolo Memorial Fund and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Care Center. This on-field money has netted an average of $3 million per year over the last four years for the distribution to those charitable organizations.

1 comment

Vern Nicholson July 4, 2018 - 12:56 am

The NFL has been manipulating the rules to limit true athleticism for decades and it won’t stop in the near future…http://www.theasterisk.us/2018/07/03/contrasting-the-mel-blount-rule-with-the-tom-brady-rule/

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