Falcons > Artificial Crowd Noise Penalties Could be Severe

| March 27, 2015


NEW YORK — The Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns are expected to receive “severe” penalties for violating league policies, ESPN reported Thursday.

The discipline is expected to be announced next week, according to the report.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has admitted that the team piped in artificial noise in the Georgia Dome the past two seasons and that the noise affected the competitive balance during games.

“It’s not really a fine line,” Blank told The Associated Press in early February. “I think what we’ve done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong. Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we’re opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It’s obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn’t represent our culture and what we’re about.”

Browns general manager Ray Farmer acknowledged in February that he was texting during games, which violated the league’s electronic device policy.

“I messed up,” Farmer said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “People understand what the rules are. In my case, I would tell you that it’s not an excuse, but sometimes your emotions get the best of you.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the pending discipline.

“We don’t want teams violating the rules,” Goodell said. “Any violation of our rules is something we take seriously. It violates integrity of the game.”

Fox Sports

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