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NFL Says Tice Violated Scalping Policy

April 6, 2005

BLAINE, Minn. (AP) _ An NFL investigation into ticket-scalping has found evidence that Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice violated league policy.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, speaking at a news conference, said he would discipline Tice soon for his handling of Super Bowl tickets, but did not specify when. Tagliabue said the discipline likely would include fines for reselling tickets, but no suspension.

Tice was being investigated for heading up a ticket-scalping operation within the Vikings organization that included assistant coaches and some players.

Tice denied buying tickets from players since he took over as Vikings coach in 2002, but acknowledged last month that he resold some of his allotment of 12 Super Bowl tickets last season and had also resold his tickets as a Vikings assistant coach from 1996-2001.

Tice didn’t immediately respond to a message left with team officials seeking comment.

Tagliabue said Wednesday that he was told this week by officials investigating the matter that there ``were clear violations of our policies.″

``At some point, I will be imposing discipline,″ Tagliabue said. ``I don’t think it will include a suspension.″ He said ``a fine or multiple fines″ would probably be appropriate.

Each NFL player and assistant coach has the right to purchase up to two Super Bowl tickets at face value, which this year was $500 and $600 depending on the seat, but must sign a document saying they won’t resell them at a profit.

It is believed that reselling Super Bowl tickets is a league-wide problem, and Tagliabue said the NFL has investigated other situations, but ``no other teams were found in violation.″

In 1986, Dominic Frontiere, then the husband of Rams owner Georgia Frontiere, pleaded guilty to not reporting income from 2,500 scalped tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl. He was sentenced to a year and a day in jail, was fined $15,000 and received three years probation.

Tice is heading into the final year of a contract that ranks him among the NFL’s lowest-paid head coaches.

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