According to reports, the Broncos discovered and disclosed to the NFL a violation by a club employee of the league’s integrity-of-the-game policy involving the improper videotaping of a six-minute portion of the San Francisco 49ers’ October 30 practice at Wembley Stadium in London the day prior to the Broncos-49ers game there.
Team video director Steve Scarnecchia took the video and presented it that day to McDaniels, who declined to view it, the investigation by the Broncos and NFL has determined. However, as a result of failing to report the incident as required by league policy, McDaniels was hit with a hefty fine.
The Broncos also have been fined $50,000 by Commissioner Goodell because clubs are ultimately accountable for the actions of their employees.
The Broncos have since canned Scarnecchia. In addition, Commissioner Goodell has notified Scarnecchia that, as a repeat violator of league rules relating to the integrity of the game, he will be the subject of a hearing to determine whether he should be barred from the NFL for conduct detrimental to the league under the commissioner’s disciplinary authority in the NFL Constitution and Bylaws.
The investigation found that Broncos executives were made aware of the apparent improper videotaping on November 8 following the team’s return from London.
After conducting an internal review, team executives contacted the NFL office on November 12 and requested a meeting to report the apparent violation. On the morning of November 16, Broncos executives, including owner Pat Bowlen, met with NFL staff in New York to disclose Mr. Scarnecchia’s actions.
Based on the report, NFL Security promptly began an investigation, which included interviews of Broncos personnel in Denver on November 18 and 19. In addition, they arranged for a forensic analysis of the laptop computers used by the video department, which confirmed that the Saturday practice had been recorded. NFL Security has retained the tape.