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muchluv4smoot
03-08-2005, 09:50 PM
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 Viking 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. The player said Tice accused him 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.

sitandbehitski
03-08-2005, 09:53 PM
Well he has to make $$$ with what cheap @$$ red pays him, in whatever way he can!

DrSwerve
03-08-2005, 09:54 PM
Where'd you find that article?

koolkev8
03-08-2005, 10:01 PM
So what does this mean for TIce??? What wil happen???

Webby
03-08-2005, 10:03 PM
http://www.purplepride.org/skol/viewtopic.php?t=1048

Hey folks, please review the forum rules & requests for posting articles. Keep us clean!!

Thanks all for your help!!

korndawg
03-08-2005, 10:04 PM
Yeah, I posted this in the correct forum, but got it got locked.
Gotta love the drama!

ElBarto
03-08-2005, 10:04 PM
It's a good job Red's on his way out, he'll be well pi***d at Tice for not giving him a cut from the sales :lol:

koolkev8
03-08-2005, 10:04 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/football/nfl/03/08/banks.tice/index.html

Webby
03-08-2005, 10:04 PM
"ElBarto" wrote:

It's a good job Red's on his way out, he'll be well pi***d at Tice for not giving him a cut from the sales :lol:

HAHAHAHA


Perfect retort, EL Barto. Oh, the sense of the English.

LosAngelis
03-08-2005, 10:15 PM
Owch! Caveman joining Martha Stewart soon with ankle bracelet.

tlk23
03-08-2005, 11:06 PM
The Vikings biggest and best offseason move would be to fire Tice. Addition by subtraction. How many former TE have been NFL head coaches anyway, besides Ditka?

randy--moss
03-08-2005, 11:39 PM
Haha i just saw this on sportscenter, with tice's picture up in the right hand corner, haha, gosh, he just looks stupid. hahahaha. Wow.. go vikes!! :)

Vikes
03-08-2005, 11:49 PM
The season is already starting to get good.

ADubya26
03-08-2005, 11:49 PM
Do you think this is a set up to give Tice the boot? Might sound bizarre, but the thought crossed my mind.

enlvikeman
03-08-2005, 11:54 PM
Tice this is for you...

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/jeffcruz/misc/retard.jpg

muchluv4smoot
03-09-2005, 12:18 AM
"webmaster" wrote:

http://www.purplepride.org/skol/viewtopic.php?t=1048

Hey folks, please review the forum rules & requests for posting articles. Keep us clean!!

Thanks all for your help!!



My bad I didn't realize where I posted it. I posted it in a hurry and had to run, that might explain my mistake.

collegeguyjeff
03-09-2005, 01:22 AM
ofcourse they will come down on minnesota, most other states hate us and are jealous. remember when the twolves lost i think it was 6 first round picks?

DrSwerve
03-09-2005, 03:20 AM
Imagine if they tried to take away our 1st round picks this season because of it. OUCH.

DaScRuM
03-09-2005, 07:23 AM
I hope the investigation is fair, and just doesn't use Minnesota as an example-----that is IF the allegations turn out to be true.

It appears this may be a widespread problem.

Freya
03-09-2005, 12:15 PM
"DaScRuM" wrote:

I hope the investigation is fair, and just doesn't use Minnesota as an example-----that is IF the allegations turn out to be true.

It appears this may be a widespread problem.

Well said.

briboy75
03-09-2005, 03:16 PM
"sitandbehitski" wrote:

Well he has to make $$$ with what cheap @$$ red pays him, in whatever way he can!

Yeah, if I *ONLY* made a million dollars a year, I'd be forced to cheat and steal to put food on the table.

Thats a small fraction of what Sprewell makes, and I hear that he can hardley provide for his family.

VKG4LFE
03-09-2005, 03:18 PM
Tice doesn't make a mil a year! Granted he isn't necessarily hurting for money, but he makes about as low as you can in the NFL.