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NFL Fines Broncos, Coach $50,000 Each for Taping 49ers Practice

The National Football League fined the Denver Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels $50,000 each because the team’s video director filmed a San Francisco 49ers practice in London last month.

Steve Scarnecchia taped a six-minute portion of the 49ers’ practice at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 30, the day before San Francisco’s 24-16 victory over Denver, the league said in a statement. Scarnecchia then presented the video to McDaniels, who declined to view it.

McDaniels was fined for failing to report the incident, as required by NFL policy. The Broncos have fired Scarnecchia.

“I apologize for not promptly reporting the improper conduct of our video director,” McDaniels said in a statement released by the Broncos. “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.”

The Broncos also were fined because they are responsible for the actions of their employees, the league said.

“The Denver Broncos and I, as the owner, believe in the integrity of the National Football League and fair competition and do not, in any way, condone this type of behavior,” Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement. “The fact that an employee of the Denver Broncos would take such action is personally disappointing to me. I apologize to all affected by this incident.”

Both Scarnecchia and McDaniels previously worked for the New England Patriots, who videotaped New York Jets coaches during a game in 2007. The league doesn’t allow such videotaping and fined the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick a total of $750,000 and took away the team’s first-round draft pick in 2008.

The Broncos are last in the American Football Conference’s Western Division with a 3-7 record this season. Denver hosts the St. Louis Rams tomorrow.

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