Browns fined, GM suspended for texting during games
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns have been fined $250,000, and General Manager Ray Farmer will be suspended without pay for four games due a violation of NFL rules that prohibit certain uses of electronic devices during games.
According to a release from the Browns, Farmer used a cell phone on multiple occasions during games in 2014.
Farmer will be suspended without pay for the first four regular season games of the 2015 season, FOX 8 reported. The suspension will start on midnight of the Sunday preceding the Browns’ first regular-season game and will end immediately after the Browns’ fourth regular season game.
During his suspension, Farmer cannot be involved in any club matters and is prohibited from being at the Browns’ offices, practice facility or at Browns games.
Farmer last month apologized for violating the policy by sending text messages during games.
The team could have lost their draft pick.
The Browns said in its release:
“There was no evidence in the NFL’s review that Browns ownership or any other team executives had knowledge of the prohibited conduct. Once the violation was discovered, Browns management implemented new processes to ensure future compliance. We appreciate the courtesy and cooperation the Browns organization extended during our inquiry.”
Browns owner Jimmy Haslan said he accepts the league’s ruling.
“Ray made a mistake and takes full responsibility for his role in violating the policy,” said Haslam. “It is critical that we make better decisions. Ray has tremendous integrity and I know has great remorse for what occurred. We are all committed to learning from this and making the Browns a stronger and better organization.”
Farmer also released a statement regarding the decision:
“I respect the league’s decision and understand that there are consequences for my actions. Accountability is integral to what we are trying to build and as a leader I need to set the right example. I made a mistake and apologize to Jimmy Haslam, Mike Pettine, our entire organization and our fans for the ramifications. Learning is a big part of who I am and I will certainly be better from this situation.”