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Thursday, December 16, 2010
Jets, Patriots & integrity of game

By Mike Reiss

One follow-up to the percolating story of Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff pointing his finger at the Patriots is whether his remarks violate the NFL's "Integrity of the Game" policy. This was brought to light by Mike Florio on ProFootballTalk.com this morning.

As noted by Vic Carucci in this 2008 piece on NFL.com, the league's official web site, commissioner Roger Goodell was making a big "integrity of the game" push that year.

That year, Goodell sent a memo to all NFL clubs that was detailed in this San Francisco Chronicle piece. The memo warned team owners and officials that making false claims against other clubs leaves them open to NFL-imposed sanctions:

"Any club or individual reporting a violation is expected to do so in good faith, to have a reasonable basis for believing a violation occurred, and to produce (or to identify) evidence to substantiate the claim. In the event I determine that a claim is made in bad faith, is frivolous or that the club or person making the complaint is unable or unwilling to produce evidence to support the charge, I will impose appropriate sanctions."

At this point, the NFL has not levied any "integrity of game" fines on the Jets.