The Denver Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels were hits with league-imposed fines totaling $100,000 after it was learned a team employee videotaped the San Francisco 49ers at practice before their London game Oct. 31.
The Broncos and McDaniels were each fined $50,000. Video director Steve Scarnecchia was fired for filming the 49ers’ walkthrough the day before the game, which San Francisco won 24-16.
McDaniels, who refused to view the videotape, was fined because he failed to report the incident as required by NFL policy. The Broncos were fined because Scarnecchia, who taped the practice of his own accord and then offered to show it to McDaniels, was a team employee.
The Broncos reported the incident to the league office Nov. 12. NFL Security then began its own investigation.
In a statement issued by the team, McDaniels said, “I apologize for not promptly reporting the improper conduct of our video director before our game against the 49ers in London. The actions of this individual are in no way representative of the values and integrity held by myself, our players and coaches, and the entire Denver Broncos organization.
“I understand the punishment from the National Football League and support its commitment to the integrity of the game. We have addressed the situation internally to assure that nothing like this happens again.”
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement, “This incident cuts into the trust and respect our fans, our ticket holders, our community and our fellow competitors have for our organization. That is why the Denver Broncos, upon learning of this violation, immediately investigated this matter and reported the incident to the league.”
As a repeat violator of league rules concerning the integrity of the game, Scarnecchia was informed by Commissioner Roger Goodell that another incident would make him subject to a league hearing that could result in him being barred from the league.
Scarnecchia and McDaniels worked for the New England Patriots in 2008 when Goodell took away the Pats’ first-round draft pick for that year and fined coach Bill Belichick $500,000 for violating a league rule banning teams from filming opponents’ signals. The Patriots were found to have videotaped New York Jets coaches during a game in 2006.
At the time, McDaniels was the Patriots offensive coordinator.
The 49ers issued this statement: “The San Francisco 49ers organization is aware of the results of the league’s investigation involving the Denver Broncos. The situation has been addressed by the NFL, therefore, the team will not be commenting any further.”