Should Bill Belichick Be Fined or Suspended for Contact With Ref?

Jesse ReedCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 23:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots yells at an official following an offensive interference penalty against the Patriots in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knows better than to lay hands on an NFL referee—replacement or otherwise. 

Belichick crossed the line when he grabbed the arm of an official at the end of the game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football, but does he deserve to be fined or suspended for his actions?

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco has a strong opinion on the matter:

Belichick played bully again. He needs to fined and maybe even suspended, considering the past.

— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) September 24, 2012


Prisco is, in my opinion, a bit too harsh with his assessment of the situation, but there's no doubt Belichick needs to be disciplined for what he did.

After all, the NFL did issue a general warning to coaches before Week 3's games in response to the way things got out of hand in Week 2, saying:

We're not gonna tolerate it. And we expect that everyone we talked to pass word on to everyone involved on the sideline that we expect there to be a respect for what's going on...Whoever the official is needs to be respected...These guys are professionals, and we expect a professional football environment (h/t

What Belichick did isn't much different than what Josh Morgan did when he threw the ball at Cortland Finnegan in Week 2 after the Washington Redskins' coaching staff had preached about not letting Finnegan get into anyone's head all week before that game (h/t Washington Post). 

Belichick knew better than to lay hands on an NFL official, but his ire was too great and he did it anyway. He was furious on the sidelines for most of the game on Sunday night, and the final straw was the last-second field goal that could have been reviewed at the end of the game.

He needs to be punished, but a suspension would be too much time for the crime, so to speak. 

Belichick needs to be fined upwards of $25,000 for his rash behavior. The message must be sent from the NFL to the teams that touching officials isn't acceptable, but this message doesn't need to be sent by way of an iron fist. 

What's your take? Does Belichick deserve to be fined, suspended or let off the hook? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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