Bron­cos busted for video vi­o­la­tion

New Eng­land’s Spygate cul­prit strikes again with Den­ver


EN­GLE­WOOD, Colo. — The NFL fined the Den­ver Bron­cos and coach Josh McDaniels US$ 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 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 Satur­day. “ 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 New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots, who were found to have vi­o­lated league rules when they video­taped New York 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 be­hav­iour we ex­pect out of him,” El­lis said on a con­fer­ence call.

Scarnec­chia was fired by the Bron­cos and no­ti­fied by com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell that as a re­peat vi­o­la­tor of league rules re­gard­ing in­tegrity he faced a hear­ing to de­ter­mine if he would be banned from the NFL.

NFL ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent Jeff Pash said there was no ev­i­dence McDaniels was in­volved with the video­tap­ing in New Eng­land.

The 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.

El­lis said the Bron­cos promptly no­ti­fied the NFL af­ter their ex­ec­u­tives learned of the vi­o­la­tion. He de­clined to re­veal how they be­came aware.

“ Their own­er­ship and ex­ec­u­tives had their moral com­pass point­ing in right di­rec­tion,” Pash said.

— The As­so­ci­ated Press


Bron­cos head coach Josh McDaniels was fined $ 50,000 for fail­ing to re­port that club em­ployee Steve Scarnec­chia ( inset) had bro­ken NFL rules by video­tap­ing a ri­val team’s prac­tice.

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