Belichick fined for grabbing official

Sept. 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The NFL said Wednesday it has fined Patriots Coach Bill Belichick $50,000 for grabbing an official after New England's 31-30 loss to Baltimore Sunday.

Belichick ran after an official and grabbed him as the teams left the field after the Ravens' Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal with no time on the clock to give Baltimore the victory. In a statement, the NFL said he was fined for "violating the rule prohibiting abuse of game officials" by making "impermissible physical contact with an official."

Belichick said Monday he was trying to get the official's attention so he could ask for an explanation of the call. The ball sailed above the goalpost, so the call wasn't reviewable.

"I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do," Belichick said. "I'm trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, play, in that game. That's the number one thing between coaches and officials. It's always at the forefront. It's just communication of what's going on, of what's happening."

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh bumped an official during the game but NFL.com and the NFL Network reported Monday Harbaugh won't be fined.

The league also announced Wednesday Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was fined $25,000 for berating officials after the team's 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The performance of substitute referees during the first three weeks of the 2012-13 season has caused considerable consternation among players and fans, culminating in a flood of player criticism following a controversial call as time ran out Monday in the Seattle Seahawks' 14-12 win over Green Bay.

A league source told the NFL Network's Steve Wyche Wednesday the players won't be fined for their public criticism of the replacement referees.

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