New year, new rules: Rule No. 12

Rule No. 12: Fine players relative to salary

After Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson tangoed recently, they were fined equally -- $25,000. But the pain sure felt different. Johnson earns $7.1 million; Finnegan,
2.9 mil. So Finnegan's fine is really more than twice as steep. When penalties are levied, journeymen are gut-punched but stars are slapped. Let's fix that: Make fines a percentage of income. NFL and NHL players pay penance at about 0.1 percent of total compensation; make that the baseline for the most minor fines (like uniform violations). Then they would scale up for increasingly egregious acts. As for how the NBA can handle Mark Cuban? Sorry Stern, you're on your own.

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