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Patriots, Belichick Penalty Harsh Enough?

Posted by Condo on September 14, 2007


By now, you’ve already heard the news about the New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick having someone on the sidelines using a video camera this past Sunday versus the Jets to steal their signals from the sidelines.  And the punishment from Roger Goddell is in: $500,000 fine for Head Coach Bill Belichick (the NFL max. for a fine), a $250,000 fine for the New England Patriots, and the loss of a 1st round pick if the Pats make the playoffs or a 2nd and 3rd rd. pick lost if they don’t make the playoffs.

Now the question at hand is this, ‘Was this fine harsh enough?’  And my personal belief is, no, it was not.  The loss of money hurts, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t hurt the Patriots at all when it comes to this season and previous seasons (if the spying was being done in the past which rumor is it was) and doesn’t really affect the overall team as a whole here.  The loss of a 1st round draft pick if they make the playoffs, which obvious consenus is they will, hurts as well for following seasons, but if they finish with a league’s best record and a Super Bowl victory that they are expecting in New England, losing the 32nd pick in next year’s draft isn’t really a ‘big’ loss considering they own the rights to San Francisco’s 1st round pick which will be better than their own next season anyways.

Let’s face it, it was a heavy penalty, but it does not ‘hurt’ the Pats the way it should for basically cheating to gain an advantage to win football games.  Look, if a player gets a 4 game suspension for using a banned substance because he is trying to ‘gain an advantage’  shouldn’t a coach get the same suspension if he is caught doing something that is considered ‘cheating’? 

Belichick should’ve been suspended without pay for 4 games rather than getting a $500,000 fine.  This way, not only does he lose money, but he loses the ability to coach the team in practices and in games, and in effect, it could quite possibly have an effect on the Patriots for this season which is what needs to be done.  The other penalties do nothing for what he was caught doing this season.  And don’t really even hurt the team for ensuing seasons.

If the commissioner didn’t want to do that, then he should’ve just forced the Patriots to forefit the game versus the Jets and be 0-1 instead of 1-0.   He needs to send a message to everyone in the league that cheating will not be tolerated.  And while this penalty will cause teams to shy away from even considering doing what Belchick and his staff has done, it also shows that if you have a deep enough pocketbook and enough quality draft picks for the upcoming draft, you can maybe get away with it, too.



14 Responses to “Patriots, Belichick Penalty Harsh Enough?”

  1. Beezner said

    You’re dead on. This hardly qualifies as a punishment, let alone a Goodell-esque punishment. Too bad this didn’t involve strippers. Then the NFL would have thrown the book at the Patriots.

  2. The General said

    I think losing both the first round picks would definitely be an appropriate penalty. If he is gonna weasel on videotaping the other sides signals, you know he would probably be setup somewhere to video conference and coach the team if he was barred from facilities or the sidelines….its not like he doesnt have people who seem to have been the AV geeks in high school.

    ps: t-minus 6.5 hrs and counting…

  3. Matt said

    We welcome thee with open arms, General.

  4. Condo said

    lol, quite funny General and sadly you are probably right. But if that’s the case, then you make Belichick hang out in the NFL offices with Goddell on a daily basis and serve his time that way, I can’t imagine that would be too fun :P

  5. I believe in a sense, that the Patriots should at least forfeit their win over the Jets for this. You knew that you had the upper hand before the game, so why cheat?

  6. Exactly Doc… like the Pats needed to steal signals from the fucking Jets and Packers. I mean for Christ’s sake, like they wouldn’t have dominated anyways. On a similar note, did anyone hear the fine doled out to Formula 1 Maclearen team? They got a copy of Ferrari’s specs and car “secrets” and they got caught. The fine was 100 MILLION. Talk about a fine there.

  7. Condo said

    I did hear about that and that is one helluva fine. I also agree that the Pats should have to forfeit the win over the Jets as well, but I mean, it’s hard to say that the Pats would NOT have won the game without that advantage. Granted, that shouldn’t matter but none the less, I think that Belichick should be held more accountable than what he was in this incident.

  8. Ari said

    Again, what a bunch of girls.

    It’s too bad you don’t know anything about football. Here’s a lttle education for you smartass.

    NFL rules state “no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game.” They also say all video for coaching purposes must be shot from locations “enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead.”

    Straight out of the NFL handbook. What does it mean? Video taping IS ALLOWED, but only in designated areas: Belichik’s man was in a nondesignated area. Every other team tapes for signals and formations from the booth. That’s Bill’s only crime: location.

  9. Matt said

    Yeah, we don’t know anything about football.

    In fact, I thought football was soccer, or soccer was futbol, or…what’s football?

    Personal attacks are apparently the new cool thing…

  10. Condo said

    Ari… you just contradicted yourself… “every other team tapes for signals and formations from the booth.” yet the rules state from what say “no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game.”

    I believe the coaches’ booth is prohibited from being used during the game, so what booth are you saying they should be video taping from? Let’s face it, sign stealing is going to happen, but in MUCH more subtle ways, if you are going to be that blatant about it, you deserve to suffer a SEVERE penalty, in my opinion anyway.

    It’s one man’s opinion, you can bash it all you want, but regardless, what they did was illegal and deserves more punishment i.m.o. than what it was given.

  11. Steven said

    I think the monetary fine was a bit harsh. There is a reason that the $500,00 fine to Bellchick is the MAXIMUM fine they could assess to him.

    I also believe that he should have been suspended for a few games…..

    I guess what I am realy trying to say is that I think they needed to go another route with the punishment…… hit them where it really hurts, by making him sit at home and not getting paid for a few games and then still take a draft pick or two.

    Hitting rich people with fines is typically a slap on the wrist….

  12. It really is.

  13. Condo said

    Exactly Steven, you wanna send a message? Then suspend him WITHOUT pay. Not only will he get hit monetarily, but it hurts the team as well, which it should, regardless if the players knew about it or not.

  14. Dear Ari (clever use of a character from a hit t.v. show btw),

    I’ve concluded from your arguement that you are A. a loser, B. unoriginal, or C. most likely both. You have decided to quote NFL policy on a sports blog which is ok, but I’d be willing to bet that you probably read about it in sportscenter from someone much more educated then you on the subject and then come here and try to pawn it off as your own “argument,” even though it wasn’t really an argument. This makes you unoriginal as your are stealing other people’s comments and trying to sound intelligent (which you failed to do). Lets say by chance you did decide to read the rule book. This makes you slightly more intellignet, but a much bigger loser because who reads a sports rule book. Maybe if you went out there and actually PLAYED the sport instead of reading the rules all the time you would actually have friends. Here is a “lttle” education for you: Bills’ only crime was actually feeling the need to videotape a team which he should have destroyed anyways.

    Get a life

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