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Tony Corrente fined one game check for swearing into open mic



The Associated Press reports that referee Tony Corrente has been fined one game check for his actions in Week 9 during the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins game in which he used R-rated language directed at his crew-mates while his microphone was on.  His foul language was broadcast over the Lucas Oil Stadium public address system, both team radio networks, and the CBS Sports telecast.  Vice president for officiating Carl Johnson issued the fine today and a statement from the NFL obtained by adds:

In the fourth quarter of the game, Corrente inadvertently left his microphone on during a conference with members of the officiating crew.  During that conference, Corrente used obscenities that were clearly audible to the network television audience and to the crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium.  This conduct is inappropriate for a game official.

Corrente has apologized to the Colts’ organization and we are confident it will not happen again.

As an 18-year veteran, Corrente makes approximately $9,000 per game, according to the news report, so this is no slap on the wrist.  While this is not the first time salty language has been broadcast over a referee’s microphone, this is the first time an official has been fined for it. 

While this action will leave Corrente chastened in the eyes of the NFL, it will not automatically disqualify him from a post-season assignment.

The last time the league publicly acknowledged a fine of an official was in 2007 when umpire Jim Quirk yanked linebacker Nick Barnett away from a fight. It was described by some as a choke hold. Quirk was also fined a game check, worth $8,150.

Corrente was the referee for Super Bowl XLI.  He took a leave of absence at the end of last season to be treated for throat cancer.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"