SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

ONE OF NFL'S ROOKIE FRANCHISES GETS HARSH INITIATION

     In response to the Panthers' pursuit of Steelers Defensive
Coordinator Dom Capers as the team's first head coach, NFL
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue yesterday delivered "one of the most
punitive actions in recent NFL history.  Tagliabue fined both
teams and ordered that the Panthers forfeit their second and
sixth-round draft picks in the upcoming draft.  The $150,000 fine
to the Panthers and the $50,000 fine to the Steelers, as well as
the loss of draft picks, was "significantly more severe than the
figurative slap on the wrist that Carolina GM Bill Polian had
predicted" (Len Pasquarelli, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/4).  The
ruling marked the first time in NFL history that a club has been
penalized more than one draft choice for rule violations.  The
Panthers justified their actions by saying that they couldn't
wait until the end of the Steelers' season to pursue Capers
because of "potential competition from colleges" (SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 1/4).
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