Chargers' Towel Use Not Against Rules; Team Still Fined $20,000
The Chargers didn't break any rules by having towels containing an adhesive substance on the sidelines during last month's nationally televised loss to Denver, but the team will be fined $20,000 for the actions of employees, the National Football League announced today.
The NFL advised all teams that it will temporarily prohibit the use of towels containing adhesive substances, and any other sticky products, until their effect on competition can be reviewed.
Regarding the fine, the NFL said team staff members are obligated to cooperate with game officials' attempts to protect "the integrity and competitive fairness'' of contests.
"As a result of the failure of club staff to follow the directive of a game official to immediately surrender the towels when directed to do so, and to attempt to conceal the towels, the Chargers have been fined $20,000,'' the league statement said.
The Chargers said they will appeal the fine because the employee was unaware the official was trying to get his attention. Once he realized the official was calling him, the staff member cooperated, according to the team.
The use of Stickum or other adhesive substances has been banned by the league since 1981. Head coach Norv Turner said last month that a lot of NFL teams use the type of towel in question to dry off balls, gloves and arms.