Notable punishments for owners
Notable punishments handed down to major professional sports owners:
• November 1974: George Steinbrenner, Yankees (MLB). Indicted on 14 criminal counts for making illegal contributions to Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1972. Pleaded guilty to two -- making illegal campaign contributions and obstruction -- and was fined $20,000. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended him from baseball for two years, but the punishment was later reduced by nine months, allowing Steinbrenner back for the 1976 season.
• January 1977: Ted Turner, Braves (MLB). Fined and suspended for one year (Turner appealed the suspension) for tampering with pending free agent Gary Matthews.
• July 1990: Steinbrenner. Outfielder Dave Winfield sued Steinbrenner for failing to pay the Winfield Foundation the $300,000 guaranteed in his contract. Steinbrenner then paid notorious gambler Howie Spira $40,000 for information on Winfield. On July 30, 1990, commissioner Fay Vincent banned Steinbrenner from running the Yankees for life. Two years later, Vincent allowed Steinbrenner to return for the 1993 season.
• February 1993: Marge Schott, Reds (MLB). Suspended one year (reduced to eight months for good behavior) and fined $25,000 by the game's executive council for bringing "disrepute and embarrassment" to the sport by using ethnic and racial slurs.
• July 1996: Schott. Suspended by MLB through the 1998 season (she sold the team when she faced another suspension upon her return) after making laudatory comments about Adolf Hitler and using racial slurs.
• March 1999: Eddie DeBartolo, 49ers (NFL). Suspended for the 1999 season and fined $1 million after he pleaded guilty to a felony in a gambling scandal in Louisiana.
• December 2000: Glen Taylor, Timberwolves (NBA). Salary-cap violation for "under the table" deal with Joe Smith. The team was fined $3.5 million and stripped of five first-round picks (later reduced to three). Taylor was suspended through the end of August 2001, during which time he was not allowed to attend games, negotiate contracts or speak with media.
• November 2009: Bud Adams, Titans (NFL). Fined $250,000 for making an obscene gesture at Bills fans.
• July 2010: Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers (NBA). Fined $100,000 for writing an open letter to fans about LeBron James.
• September 2011: Michael Jordan, Bobcats (NBA). Fined $100,000 for talking about the NBA lockout.
• October 2011: Micky Arison, Heat (NBA). Fined $500,000 for tweeting about the lockout.
• January 2014: Mark Cuban, Mavericks (NBA). Fined $100,000 for confronting referees after a loss. Cuban has been fined several other times for similar incidents, with the total amount believed to be $2 million.
• April 2014: Donald Sterling, Clippers (NBA). Banned from the Clippers and the NBA for life for making racist comments and fined $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under league's constitution.
Notable Lifetime Bans in Pro Sports
|*Ban eventually lifted|
|2014||Donald Sterling||NBA||Racist comments|
|1986||Micheal Ray Richardson*||NBA||Drugs|
|1961||Connie Hawkins*||NBA||Point shaving|
|1951||Alex Groza||NBA||Point shaving|
|1951||Ralph Beard||NBA||Point shaving|
|1927||Billy Coutu*||NHL||Assault on referee|
|1920||Shoeless Joe Jackson||MLB||Fixing games|
STERLING BANNED FOR LIFE
Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million. Full coverage »