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Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000 by the league for his sideline interference in last Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
According to ESPN, the league will also consider a forfeiture of draft choices for the team because the coach’s actions affected a play on the field.
The fine and possible modification or forfeiture of draft picks stems from a play during the Thanksgiving night game where Tomlin stepped onto the field while returner Jacoby Jones was running back a kick. Tomlin seemed to have altered Jones’ path to the end zone and was caught on camera flashing a sly smile after the play was over.
The league notes that Tomlin’s actions should have resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The sanctions were imposed by NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson and the potential impact on the team’s draft picks will be imposed after the 2014 draft order is determined, USA TODAY Sports notes.
The coach released a statement after he was fined saying:
“As I stated yesterday, I take full responsibility for my actions, 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.”
Tomlin’s fine is one the heftiest in NFL history for a head coach only surpassed by Bill Belichick’s $500,000 Spygate fine. That scandal cost the New England Patriots an additional $250,000 and a first-round pick in the 2008 draft.