Chargers' 2012 towel violation similar to Patriots

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Chargers' 2012 towel violation similar to Patriots

As we await word on possible discipline for Tom Brady and/or the Patriots in the ball deflation case, we can look back at a similar disciplinary situation from October of 2012 involving the San Diego Chargers.

In that instance, the Chargers were found to have been using a towel covered with an adhesive substance that aids in gripping the ball.

The league looked into the matter further. Without the aid of a $5M investigation and a corporate law firm, they league cleared the Chargers of violating a “a competitive rule.”

The league statement went on to say, "However, NFL game officials are charged with protecting the integrity and competitive fairness of the games and club staff members, like players and coaches, have a clear obligation to cooperate in this effort and comply with the direction of game officials. 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.

"In order to ensure that products that may have a possible competitive effect are given appropriate review and testing, our office -- after consultation with the Competition Committee -- has advised all clubs that the use of towels or other products that contain any type of adhesive substance is now prohibited on game days until further notice."

So they didn’t cough up towels when told to do so. They tried to hide them. The towels had sticky crap on them which – if they were being hidden – makes it more probable than not that an advantage was being gained that the Chargers wanted concealed. And the NFL’s Competition Committee laid down a new rile. No sticky towels.

No suspension. No specific discipline to any coach, GM or player. No demand for cell phones and emails. Just, “Don’t do it anymore. And, “Hey, give us $20K for being dinks about the towels when we asked for them.”

Simpler times, Danny. Simpler times.

Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

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Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room. 

"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."

Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.

During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday. 

As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.

PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

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PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court. 

After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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