NFL looking into Nix-Dominik recorded call

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The Bills and the Buccaneers have separately referred to NFL Security the fact that a phone conversation between Buffalo G.M. Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay G.M. Mark Dominik was recorded by a pair of 20-year-old “pranksters.”

The NFL has confirmed that it is reviewing the situation.

“NFL Security and our attorneys are looking into it,” league spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT by email.

The facts are fairly straightforward.  On Thursday, March 7, two men called Nix’s office, pretending to be Dominik.  The call was transferred to Nix.  They hung up before Nix got on the line.

Nix called the men back.  And Nix kept calling, thinking he was returning a call from Dominik.

On Friday, March 8, the men called Dominik’s office, hoping to spark what Deadspin calls a “phantom game of phone tag.”  While the men were on the phone with Dominik’s assistant, Nix called again.  Seizing on the opportunity to secretly monitor a conversation that neither man intended to have, the calls were patched together and recorded.

With the launch of free agency less than two hours away, I don’t have the time to research the nooks and crannies of federal and state wiretapping law.  But I recall the basics pretty clearly; most importantly, there need not be any actual tapping of wires.  The secret recording of conversations in any setting is covered.

Thus, those kids have reason to be nervous.

Not that they’ll be sent to prison.  But they could be in for weeks and/or months of worry and hassle and expense, if there’s a prosecutor who decides to use what could be an open-and-shut set of facts to send a strong message of deterrence to the general public.

Of course, the NFL could choose to take the high road and not press charges.  In the end, the decision could be influenced by the extent to which Nix and/or Dominik are publicly ridiculed for falling victim to the “prank.”

They shouldn’t be.  Nix believed he was calling Dominik, and Dominik believed he was taking a call from Nix.  Still, if they’re criticized for what ensued, either or both men may be more likely to pursue the matter.

In the end, that may not matter.  An overly zealous prosecutor won’t need anyone to press charges, if the prosecutor decides to make an example out of the “pranksters.”

21 responses to “NFL looking into Nix-Dominik recorded call

  1. Put ’em in prison for just one day, and record the pranks other inmates put them through.

  2. “NFL Security” the same “security” who seems to miss stuff like Sam Hurd and drugs?

    Get ready for some mall cop action.

  3. You’d hate to see some “kids” go to jail for something like this. But what if something like this inadvertently caused a major situation, such as the retirement of Barry Sanders? At some point a line is crossed between prank and attempt to rewrite future history books. That’s no laughing matter.

  4. I don’t know if the law is different in New York, but in Michigan it is not wire tapping if the recording was made by one of the parties involved in the conversation, even if the other party knew about it or not.

  5. daysend564 says: Mar 12, 2013 2:30 PM

    Was it Loomis?


    Nah, there’s actual evidence here.

  6. Pretty shining example of why the Bills and Bucs stink.

    How can the two not realize within 10 seconds that one hadn’t called the other?

    These guys should lose their jobs; not because the act itself was that grievous as much as how much it showcases their stupidity.

  7. Theses “kids” needs to be made an example of. This isn’t a simple prank call to a random person in a phone book. They’re messing with executives in a billion dollar industry.

  8. “An overly zealous prosecutor ”

    Why would you use that line. These were 20 year olds, not kids. We expect more out of our 14 year olds than that.

    Didn’t an entire industry in the UK just crumble due to wiretapping and snooping. Career police and reporters are going to jail for that.

  9. “Oh please. The National Fixed League has no shame. Give the Redskins back it’s 36 million in cap now!!!”

    Why on earth would the NFL make a point to lock out “America’s Team” and RGIII? The NFL is into MAKING MONEY. Who would sell more freaking jerseys after a Super Bowl win than RGIII? They’re going to showcase him like they showcased Vick in the Falcons days. It’s called marketing, get a clue buddy. Wait until the schedule comes out, Two primetame games for them at least (which proves my point). Raise your game dude, don’t be a homer

  10. I cannot speak for other states but in California the secret monitoring and/or recording is a felony. Cal Pen Code Sec 695, It is rarely prosecuted. There is a civil action for $5,000 per recording statutory damages.

    Most other states prohibit recording unless at least 1 party to the call consents. Some states you need all parties to consent.

  11. If Nix called them, then the would certainly be able to claim they were part of the conversation and likely able to record the conversation, even if they said nothing, as NY is a One Party Consent state. Don’t know where the pranksters are from, which could muddle that. But, if Dominick was in his offices in FL, which is an “All Party” state (spring break, woohoo !), then everyone involved in the conversation would have to specifically give consent to the recording of the conversation.

    Punishments range from a fine of up to $10k or a prison sentence of no more than 5 years. Oh, and the “victims” may be able to recover any attorney fees or damages that the illegal recording may have caused.

  12. Nix and Dominik should have realized something was fishy when they discussed that he had the wrong number! Dominik proceeds to give him the correct number and they never questioned how they were magically connected.
    Nix looks especially dumb, he knows he didn’t call the bucs main number. He called the wrong cell number for the 90th time. Hahaha

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