NFL docks Raiders' Sapp $75K for penalties in loss to Jaguars

Updated: December 27, 2007, 7:25 PM ET
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp was fined $75,000 on Thursday by the NFL for his confrontation with game officials that led to his ejection last week.

Sapp
Sapp

Sapp avoided a suspension, however.

The league said Sapp was punished for "physical and verbal actions toward game officials that drew an unprecedented three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and ejection from last Sunday's game."

Defensive end Derrick Burgess was also fined $25,000 for verbally abusing an official during the same sequence.

The punishments were announced after the Raiders' media availability on Thursday, so neither player nor coach Lane Kiffin was available to comment. Both Sapp and Kiffin said previously they were not worried about a possible suspension.

The altercation came late in the first half of last Sunday's 49-11 loss at Jacksonville, when the Raiders were called for four unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one sequence. The dispute began when Jaguars right tackle Tony Pashos was flagged for illegal use of his hands to the face.

Officials initially said the Raiders declined the penalty, and the Jaguars lined up for a 43-yard field goal attempt. Officials then said Oakland would accept the penalty, making it third-and-20 from the Raiders 35.

Jacksonville's offense went back on the field, but a few seconds later, the officials called the first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Sapp, who said Wednesday he was angry the officials declined the penalty without checking first with the Raiders.

That gave the Jaguars an automatic first down, and Sapp started jawing at officials. Sapp and Burgess were both flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during the arguments. Sapp kept talking and then drew the third penalty and the ejection. Sapp had to be restrained by teammates and defensive line coach Keith Millard after being kicked out of the game.

Referee Jerome Bogar said after the game that Sapp was ejected for bumping umpire Garth DeFelice. Sapp denied making any contact with an official.

Sapp has had run-ins with officials in the past. Before a game against Washington in 2003, Sapp, then with Tampa Bay, reportedly bumped an official. Four days later he was fined $50,000 for what the league called "repeated violations of abusing officials."

Notes
The Raiders received an extension until Friday afternoon from the league to sell out the game and avoid a local TV blackout. Five of Oakland's seven home games this season have been broadcast locally. ... WR Tim Dwight (hamstring) was limited in practice and LB Jon Alston (calf) missed practice.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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