Review Process for On-Field Rules Violations

The process for a play to be reviewed for potential disciplinary action starts with the NFL Officiating Department reviewing every play of every game.  Any play involving a violation that needs to be reviewed for possible discipline, whether penalized on the field or not, is referred to Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson and his staff,  which includes Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks, a nine-year NFL veteran (1991-99).  Merton Hanks or Ray Anderson make the initial determination for discipline for on-field violations.

Once the player receives notification of the discipline, he has the right to appeal.  Appeals for on-field rules violations are heard in accordance with a 2010 agreement between the NFL and NFLPA.  The jointly appointed and compensated appeals officers are Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Shell and former NFL player and coach Ted Cottrell.

As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the schedule of fines for on-field conduct is provided to the NFLPA prior to the start of training camp each season for its review.  The 2011 schedule of fines, which was accepted by the NFLPA, serves as the basis of discipline for the infractions identified on that schedule (below).

Fines listed are minimums. Other forms of discipline, including higher fines and suspension, may also be imposed, based on the circumstances of a particular violation.

Players who were fined for violations in 2009 or 2010, and whose fines were either partially or fully upheld, will be considered second and/or repeat offenders under this policy.

Discipline in each case will be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. This includes a determination of whether the infraction occurred “during the normal course of the game” (e.g., was consistent with the competitive tempo, pace, and situation) or “outside the normal course of the game” (e.g., was flagrant, unnecessary, avoidable, or gratuitous).

Player fines collected by the league are used to support the NFLPA Players Assistance Trust and charitable initiatives supporting youth, education and sports-related medical research.

For the schedule of fines, click here

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