The NFL has fined Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians $50,000 for slapping the helmet of, and throwing an elbow at, safety Andrew Adams during Sunday’s playoff win over the Eagles. Meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Arians vowed to appeal the fine.
“It ain’t go nothing to do with the game,” Arians added, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Arians declined further comment on the matter.
Arians faces an uphill battle in his effort to reduce or overturn the punishment. He lacks the protection of a union. No independent body will handle the challenge. The league issued the punishment. The league most likely won’t un-issue it.
The league has no real choice but to stick with the decision. Arians crossed the line. Whatever his explanation or excuse, football coaches at every level need to know that this kind of thing can’t be tolerated.
Frankly, it would be better to just pay the fine and not prolong the story. Unless, of course, Arians hopes to curry favor with the old-school crowd that thinks it’s OK to strike, elbow, push, or kick football players — or when all else fails to drag them around by their facemasks.
That’s how it used to be. That’s not how it is anymore. Maybe Arians needs to have his appeal denied before he begins to realize that the things that used to be OK no longer are.