Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was hit hard Wednesday, to the tune of $100,000, but the disciplinary actions may not be done yet. We still don't know the full punishment. The fine was expected, but the most interesting part of Wednesday's announcement concerns the potential loss of draft picks. "Because the conduct affected a play on the field, a modification or forfeiture of draft choices will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined," the NFL said in a statement. ... It's interesting that the league does not plan to announce the exact draft-pick penalty at this stage. So what will the penalty be? The Steelers potentially could lose a late-round draft pick or see their picks somehow moved down in the draft. It would be a surprise if a high pick was taken away. (NFL.com) Comment
Now that the NHL has seemingly squared things away with Wayne Gretzky, to the tune of around $7 to $8 million, the Great One may be interested in taking a front office job somewhere in the league. An obvious choice is the Edmonton Oilers. ... On the other hand, already having reached the peak of the sport numerous times in Edmonton, No. 99 might decide to stay close to his hometown. The Brantford, Ont. native was rumoured to be joining the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer. Being part of the group trying to bring the Cup back to Ontario's capital for the first time in 46 years might be too hard to resist. Tim Leiweke, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Spots & Entertainment, has already made some big statements since taking over the job this past summer and hiring Gretzky would definitely make a splash. (TSN) Comment
So much for a long stay at the top for Michigan State and Tom Izzo. [Roy Williams] is now 7-0 against Izzo and Michigan State while leading the Tar Heels, the latest victory a 79-65 decision on Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. ... To say Izzo was disappointed about the loss would be an understatement. But apparently it didn't result in any postgame blowups. On the contrary, Izzo was at a loss, just as his players were. "Coach didn't even yell at us," guard Travis Trice said. "His thing was more like, 'What's going on? What's wrong? Why didn't we bring it today?' We've had a couple bad practices, the last couple weeks we've had a couple games where we didn't play as well but never this -- never this, even in practice. It seemed like everything that could go wrong went wrong and we didn't respond." (The Detroit News) Comment
A faulty transformer filled the 22.000-seat Arena Ciudad de Mexico with smoke, forcing the cancellation of a game between Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City. Ironically, the teams were warming up when the transformer overheated and had to evacuate. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)
Part 2 of The MMQB's exclusive behind the scenes look into the lives of three on-field members of NFL referee Gene Steratore's officiating crew.