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New year, new rules: Rule No. 12

Updated: December 15, 2010, 10:44 AM ET
ESPN The Magazine

Rule No. 12: Fine players relative to salary

After Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson tangoed recently, they were fined equally -- $25,000. But the pain sure felt different. Johnson earns $7.1 million; Finnegan, 2.9 mil. So Finnegan's fine is really more than twice as steep. When penalties are levied, journeymen are gut-punched but stars are slapped. Let's fix that: Make fines a percentage of income. NFL and NHL players pay penance at about 0.1 percent of total compensation; make that ...

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