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Vikings' Tice target of Super Bowl scalping probe

Plum Diamonds Lab Grown Diamond Rings

OSUBasketballJunkie

Never Forget 31-0
CNNSI.COM

By Don Banks and George Dohrmann, SI.com

Minnesota head coach Mike Tice is being investigated by the NFL for allegedly heading up and profiting from a Super Bowl ticket-scalping operation within the Vikings organization, a violation of NFL rules that league sources say has been going on for years.

Two investigators from the league's security staff, Larry Sweeney and John Keenan, were in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, questioning Tice in his office and speaking with Vikings running backs coach Dean Dalton, as well as other club personnel. The pair left the team complex in the afternoon to meet with the team's director of ticket sales, Phil Huebner, at the Metrodome, where Minnesota's ticket operations are headquartered.

The league requires all players, coaches, and club personnel who buy Super Bowl tickets to sign a release stating they will not re-sell them at a profit. Still, the practice of scalping Super Bowl tickets is widespread within the league and is an open secret in many NFL locker rooms. Yet the practice in Minnesota is unique, league sources say, because it has been orchestrated by the head coach. And, according to people familiar with the scalping operation, Tice began facilitating the reselling of Super Bowl tickets long before becoming the Vikings' head coach in January 2002. Tice coached Minnesota's tight ends and then offensive line beginning in 1996.

"This started when [Tice] wasn't the figure he is now," said one team source. "I can't believe how rampant it's been. Stuff like this has gone on a long time. There's a pretty good amount of people involved. There could be a lot of people affected by this, not just in the NFL's view, but with the IRS as well."

Tice acknowledged to SI.com that he met with league security officials Tuesday at the team complex, but said he told them he had nothing to do with the re-selling of players' tickets.

"They were in there here talking to me and others about how we deal with our Super Bowl tickets, and how they're distributed,'' Tice said. "I'm confident when the league finishes looking at this, everything will come out fine. It's a shame assumptions are being made about my role in this. I did not approach any player about Super Bowl tickets as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.''

However, in mid-January, after the Vikings were eliminated by the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC divisional playoffs, a team source said Tice organized the re-selling of Super Bowl tickets for players and club employees. (Each NFL player has the right to buy two Super Bowl tickets at face value, which this year was $500 and $600 depending on the location of the seat). Those who gave their tickets to Tice received $1,900, a mark-up of at least $1,300 per ticket, sources said. Last season, individuals brokering tickets through Tice received $1,100 per ticket, a former Vikings player said.

"Tice has been turning around tickets for years and years," said one player who was with the Vikings in 2003. "He's been selling them to the same guy. He commits to a certain amount every year."

Late in the 2003 season, Tice berated one Vikings veteran for asking teammates if he could buy their tickets, which he had hoped to procure for family members. Tice, one source said, accused the player of trying to "backdoor the head coach." Tice then successfully pressured some players to renege on their commitment and sell their tickets through him, the player said, even though Tice was offering slightly less money per ticket.

"It was always understood that if you want it, here it is," one Vikings team source said of the opportunity to scalp Super Bowl tickets. "There was nothing different this year about how it worked."

Sources around the league, including several coaches, said it is common practice within the NFL for players and assistants to scalp their Super Bowl tickets. On some teams, the income from the re-sale of those tickets is counted on by assistant coaches to supplement their salaries.

"A lot of teams do it," said an NFL assistant who once worked for the Vikings. "Everybody can do it. Every team has a guy who takes care of moving the tickets. I'd hate to see it end because coaches have always used that as extra money. Coaches do count on that as a little extra deal. [Team] owners will probably stop doing it now, because they don't have to give us those tickets.

"When I was there [in Minnesota], Mike was the guy. He had a guy somewhere who moved the tickets. I just never took him up on it because I was always scared I'd get my ass caught."

Said another coach: "Mike's the wheeler dealer. But it's just stupidity doing it as a head coach. Maybe the NFL wants to send a wake-up call about scalping, and they're going to come down on Mike."

Owner Red McCombs has been made aware of the league's investigation, a Vikings official said. It is unknown whether Reggie Fowler, who has an agreement to purchase the team from McCombs, has been told of the probe. NFL vice president of public relations Greg Aiello would not confirm if there was an investigation into Super Bowl ticket scalping in Minnesota.

"We're not going to respond to questions about what NFL security looks into and what it doesn't look into," Aiello said, "but it's against league rules to sell those tickets for a profit."

Tice, the league's lowest-paid coach at $1 million per season, is entering the final year of his contract with Minnesota, and his job security was an ongoing issue all of 2004. Just last week, in a conference call with the Minnesota media, McCombs said he nearly fired Tice during the second half of last season, in an effort to shake up his slumping club, and specifically star receiver Randy Moss. It is also known that Tice was in danger of being fired if Minnesota had not upset Green Bay at Lambeau Field in the first-round of the NFC playoffs.
Mike Tice never fails to amaze me, he is like that uncle who is constantly doing the wrong things and everyone still loves him. What a moron if these allegations are true.
 
I wonder who has it in for Tice? According to this story, the practice has been going on for years and was allegedly orchestrated in Minn by Tice when he was an assistant coach. Why didn't the NFL wait for another 10 years? Why now? Did it have something to do with the pending sale of the team? Or the trade of Moss?
 
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tibor75

Banned
:slappy:

'I made a mistake'
Tice admits scalping Super Bowl tickets this season
Posted: Thursday March 10, 2005 9:37PM; Updated: Thursday March 10, 2005 10:02PM


By Don Banks, SI.com

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice acknowledged to NFL security investigators on Tuesday that he scalped part of his personal allotment of 12 tickets to last month's Super Bowl, a violation of league rules that could result in him being fined or otherwise punished by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

"I probably shouldn't have sold my tickets,'' Tice told SI.com on Thursday. "I made a mistake. I regret it. I'll never do it again. I'm going to be in trouble. I'll probably get slapped with a big fine."

The revelation that Tice admitted scalping some of his own Super Bowl tickets comes two days after SI.com first reported that he is being investigated by the NFL for allegedly heading and profiting from a Super Bowl ticket-scalping operation within the Vikings organization.

Two investigators from the league's security staff were in the Twin Cities on Tuesday to question Tice and Vikings running backs coach Dean Dalton about the alleged ticket scalping. In a reported five-hour meeting with the investigators in Tice's office, the head coach admitted he scalped some of the Super Bowl tickets he obtained this year, but denied approaching any Vikings players about scalping their tickets. A Vikings source said Tice maintains that Dalton was the intermediary who dealt directly with the players and the person who purchased their tickets for a California ticket agency.

"I sold some of my tickets this year,'' Tice said. "I did. I told the league that and I told [team owner] Red McCombs that. I'm not going to lie. But if I'm going to be thrown out this year for selling tickets, then I'm a scapegoat. If I'm guilty of anything, I'm guilty of selling some of my tickets. I am not guilty of buying any player tickets since I've been made the head coach [in January 2002].''

Tice has also acknowledged that he scalped Super Bowl tickets as a Vikings assistant coach from 1996-2001, and that he told his assistants this year it was all right for them to sell their Super Bowl tickets to a California ticket agency that he has long dealt with.

Tice acknowledged purchasing 12 Super Bowl tickets from the NFL this year, but he said he did not scalp his entire allotment. Each NFL player and assistant coach has the right to purchase up to two Super Bowl tickets at face value, which this year was $500 and $600 depending on the location of the seat.

According to club sources who have said that Tice was the point man for the scalping operation within the Vikings organization, and has been for years, the tickets scalped by Tice and Dalton this year brought $1,900 each -- a profit of at least $1,300.

The NFL requires all players, coaches, and club personnel who buy Super Bowl tickets to sign a release stating they will not re-sell them at a profit. Asked if Tice's admission to league investigators that he scalped Super Bowl tickets this year ensures that he faces at least a league fine, NFL vice president of public relations Greg Aiello said, "It'll be up to the commissioner to decide a penalty.''

"But scalping any Super Bowl tickets is a violation of NFL policy,'' Aeillo added, noting that the league has both fined offenders in the past and asked clubs to terminate those employees scalping Super Bowl tickets.

Tice said he has been asked not to speak about the ongoing investigation by both his attorney and McCombs. The Vikings owner issued a statement of support for Tice on Wednesday.

"I answered all the questions that the league asked me honestly in the meeting on Tuesday," Tice said. "Anything from that meeting has to come from the league.''

Dalton also appears to be in line for some kind of punishment from the NFL, and a source with knowledge of the investigation said Dalton acknowledged a role in facilitating the scalping of the players' tickets.

"Dean is going to be the one taking the fall,'' said a former Vikings player from the 2003 team. "Tice was running it all, but he worked it through Dean so it didn't get traced directly to him.''

Tice told SI.com that he in the past introduced Dalton to a representative of the California ticket agency that purchased Tice's Super Bowl tickets this year.
 
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Alan

Banned
"I wonder who has it in for Tice? According to this story, the practice has been going on for years and was allegedly orchestrated in Minn by Tice when he was an assistant coach. Why didn't the NFL wait for another 10 years? Why now? Did it have something to do with the pending sale of the team? Or the trade of Moss?"


My initial reaction is that the new owner is trying to bring in his own guy as soon as possible.....he dumps moss and now he is trying to dump tice.....
 
Upvote 0

gost8

Living and loving life
I heard on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday that Reggie Fowler didn't attend some meeting he was supposed to be at and now his approval for buying the team won't come up again until May. That is really late to fire a head coach. They also said that they thought the sale of the Vikings to Fowler might be in jeopardy all together. He didn't give any reason why except that is what Mort said. There are several other interested parties if Fowler's acquisition is not approved in May.
 
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LoKyBuckeye

I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Moss is the one that let out the story on Tice. It's been quoted that it was a player that broke the story.... sounds like Moss has an axe to grind with Tice. The current owner came out and said that he almost fired Tice last year in the hope that it would get Moss more focused on playing the game... instead of doing that he traded Moss. Tice is a big sack of shit and deserves whatever he gets.
 
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LoKyBuckeye

I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Tice is NOT a good person... for anyone that doesn't remember he played a part in the death of Korey Stringer. He was the OLine coach and was one of the many people who failed Korey and his family on that day. The guy is a joke and like I said he deserves anything bad that happens to him.
 
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Jaxbuck

I hate tsun
‘18 Fantasy Baseball Champ
LoKyBuckeye said:
Tice is NOT a good person... for anyone that doesn't remember he played a part in the death of Korey Stringer. He was the OLine coach and was one of the many people who failed Korey and his family on that day. The guy is a joke and like I said he deserves anything bad that happens to him.

I had forgotten his role in the Korey Stringer death to tell the truth. My bad.
 
Upvote 0

LoKyBuckeye

I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Jax... no problem. He was the one that neglected Kory and told the trainers not to worry about him that he would be fine after he rested. Once he's fired from the Viqueens I hope he is never part of the NFL or anything to do with football ever again in any capacity.
 
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tibor75

Banned
LoKyBuckeye said:
Tice is NOT a good person... for anyone that doesn't remember he played a part in the death of Korey Stringer. He was the OLine coach and was one of the many people who failed Korey and his family on that day. The guy is a joke and like I said he deserves anything bad that happens to him.

Uh, sure. Korey wasn't an adult capable of making his own decisions. Korey has nobody to blame but fate, bad luck, and himself.
 
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