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Broncos fined in spying case

McDaniels is also punished by NFL

Associated Press / November 28, 2010

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The NFL fined the Denver Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels $50,000 each because the team’s video operations director broke league rules by filming a San Francisco 49ers practice in London last month.

The NFL investigation determined that Steve Scarnecchia took the six-minute video of the walkthrough and presented it that day to McDaniels. The coach declined to view it.

But the NFL fined both the coach and team because the matter was not promptly reported, as required by the league.

“We certainly did not view or do anything with the footage, and he was made aware that it was something we didn’t condone in our organization,’’ McDaniels said yesterday. “I failed to follow through and report it to the proper individuals in our organization and with the league.’’

Scarnecchia and McDaniels previously worked for the Patriots, who were found to have violated league rules when they videotaped Jets coaches sending in signals during a game four years ago in a scandal dubbed Spygate.

Broncos chief operating officer Joe Ellis said the team was aware Scarnecchia had been involved in Spygate, but not the specifics, when hired.

“He knew full well coming in what was expected of him in terms of the type of behavior we expect out of him,’’ Ellis said.

Scarnecchia, the son of Patriots assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia, was fired by the Broncos and notified by commissioner Roger Goodell that as a repeat violator of league rules regarding integrity, he faces a hearing to determine whether he would be banned from the NFL.

The league issued $750,000 in fines against the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick and stripped New England of a first-round draft pick for what were found to be repeated violations.

The current investigation concerned practices at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 30, the day before the 49ers’ 24-16 win over the Broncos. It was the only time the teams worked out on the same field in London.

The NFL determined that Broncos executives were made aware of the videotaping Nov. 8 and told the league about it four days later after an internal review. On Nov. 16, owner Pat Bowlen and Broncos executives met with league officials in New York.

Merriman goes on IR
Shawne Merriman’s first season with the Buffalo Bills ended before it began. Merriman was placed on injured reserve because of a nagging Achilles’ tendon injury, ending a disappointing year for the one-time feared pass rusher. The Bills claimed Merriman off waivers this month, three weeks after he was placed on injured reserve by the Chargers because of a calf injury . . . Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel, who leads the league in interceptions with seven, won’t play in Chicago today because of a knee injury. He suffered the injury while trying to recover a fumble in a 27-17 win over the Giants last Sunday . . . Saints defensive end Will Smith was arrested yesterday in Lafayette, La., after he was accused of grabbing his wife’s hair and pulling her down the street. Police said Smith and his wife had gotten into an argument just after 2 a.m. while leaving a nightclub. Smith was charged with domestic abuse and simple battery and was released on $1,000 bond.

Patriots Video

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