Mike Tomlin fined $100,000 by NFL for sideline incident (updated)

December 4, 2013

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin made it a point to apologize Tuesday. (Gail Burton / AP)

Updated with Tomlin’s official statement

Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he was prepared to take his medicine for the Thanksgiving night sashay onto the field and into the path of Jacoby Jones on a kickoff return.

That “medicine” is a $100,000 fine, handed down today by the NFL. In addition, there may be other punishment later. “Because the conduct affected a play on the field,” the NFL said in announcing the fine, a modification or forfeiture of draft choices will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined. “In addition,” the NFL said, “Tomlin’s “positioning in the white border during play should have resulted in a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.” The play was not flagged.

“As I stated [Tuesday], I take full responsibility for my actions,” Tomlin said in a statement released by the Steelers, “and I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. I accept the penalty that I received. I will no longer address this issue as I am preparing for an important game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.”

On Tuesday, Tomlin got out ahead of the onrushing pain train, telling reporters that his “blunder” was “embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal.” Tomlin realized that more was expected from him, particularly as a member of the NFL’s Competition Committee, and said he would “take [his] medicine” from the league for violating Rule 13, Section 1, Article 4 of the NFL rule book.


“I take full responsibility for my actions on the play,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “I acknowledge that my actions unfortunately became part of the play. … I also embrace that as head coaches, we are held to the highest standards of conduct, and I realize that that blunder fell woefully short of that expectation, and in that vein, I … understand the repercussions from a blunder of that nature.

“I think probably my biggest error on Thursday night is not realizing that that play jeopardized the integrity of the game from a perception standpoint. At no time Thursday night in the game or after, did I realize that my actions would be perceived potentially, or could be perceived potentially as intentional.”

Four other coaches have received six-figure fines, with Bill Belichick topping the list with at $500,000 for SpyGate.

H/T CBS Sports for the GIF

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · December 4, 2013

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