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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
NFL clarifies ball spin penalty

ESPN.com news services

The NFL on Wednesday tried to clear up reports that players would receive 15-yard penalties for spinning the ball during touchdown celebrations, noting that it would be an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty only if done directly at an opposing player.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy made the clarification on Twitter.

to clear up bad info re: td celebrations like military salute/spinning ball: only flagged if player does it directly @ opponent

— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) August 7, 2013

Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith, who does his signature ball spin after most receptions, said recently he'll have to tweak his celebration to comply with the rules.

"We are working that out," Smith said with a laugh. "I have to alter it a little bit. ... Some people probably are like, 'Yes, it's finally gone.' I hate to burst your bubble, but it's still here."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.