Fines & Appeals
The NFL/NFLPA's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.
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The NFL/NFLPA's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.
The NFL uses the fine schedule to outline the league’s and the union’s expectations for players to conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game, their fellow players, the fans and the league. The rules are intended to protect the players from unnecessary risk, promote player safety and emphasize sportsmanship and respect of teammates, opponents, coaches, officials and fans.
Player infractions may come to the league’s attention in a variety of ways. The league may respond to an official’s call during a game or to a specific play that a team submits for review. The NFL Officiating Department also reviews every play from every game and refers potential violations to the Football Operations compliance team.
League staff members examine the plays identified as having potential infractions to determine whether there is cause for additional review.
Players subject to accountability measures receive a letter informing them of what they did, a video of the play in question, why they are being fined and how much it will cost them. They also receive information on how to appeal the fine. If they choose not to appeal, the fine is withheld from their next game check.
If a player protests a ruling, he schedules a hearing with the NFL, and his case is assigned to one of the league’s current appeals officers, Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, who are jointly appointed and paid by the NFL/NFLPA. Cases are assigned randomly, so neither side in the appeals process knows who will hear a case. The officer assigned to the case reviews the play and hears the league’s case and the player’s defense. The officer’s decision is final, and the ruling is binding.
If the discipline is upheld, the league withholds the amount of the fine from the player’s next check. If the player’s fine is rescinded, he will receive notification of the decision, and no money will be taken from his check.
The fines collected do not go to the NFL, but instead go to programs for former players. The Players Association and the league have agreed to donate fine money through the NFL Foundation to the NFL Player Care Foundation and the Gene Upshaw Players Association’s Players Assistance Trust.
The Player Care Foundation, an independent organization dedicated to helping retired players improve their quality of life, provides programs and assistance with medical, emotional, financial, social and community issues.
The Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust assists former players who are facing financial hardship due to unforeseen crisis, unaffordable medical situations and helps those who wish to go back to school to finish their undergraduate degrees.
Since 2009, about $4 million a year has been used to assist former players.
|Violation||First Offense||Second Offense|
|Offense Against Game Official|
|Physical Contact with Official||$35,096||$70,194|
|Verbal or other Non-Physical Offense Against Official||$28,075||$56,156|
|Player Safety Rules and/or Flagrant Personal Foul (including, without limitation):||Suspension or fine; severity to be determined by degree of violation
(FINES LISTED ARE MINIMUMS).
|Horse Collar Tackle||$21,056||$42,115|
|Impermissible Use of the Helmet (including illegal launching)||$28,075||$56,156|
|Hit on Defenseless Player||$28,075||$56,156|
|Roughing the Passer||$21,056||$42,115|
|Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (active involvement)||$7,017||$14,037|
|Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (no active involvement)||$3,507||$10,527|
|Excessive Profanity; other Unsportsmanlike Conduct (e.g., toward opponent(s), game personnel, fans, etc.)||$14,037||$28,075|
|Football Into Stands||$7,017||$14,037|
|Foreign Substances on Body/Uniform||$10,527||$21,056|
|(Additional fines may be imposed on team management and coaching staffs for condoning, permitting, etc., violations in this area)|
|Other Uniform/Equipment Violations||$7,017||$14,037|
|On-Field Commercial Logo Violation||Considered violation of official League licensing agreements; suspension or fine; severity to be determined by degree of violation.|
|Gang Signing||Considered conduct detrimental to the League; suspension or fine; severity to be determined in accordance with provisions of the Personal Conduct Policy.|
Starting in 2012, fine minimums will increase by 5 percent each year as stipulated in the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. The increases continue throughout the duration of the current CBA.