Weeks after an on-field official confiscated a towel from someone on the Chargers sidelines during the team's 35-24 loss to the Broncos on Monday Night Football, the NFL released a statement saying the team hadn't broken a rule but will still be fined.
The official believed the towel had a sticky substance on it, and that it was being passed to players to help their grip on the football.
Soon after, Norv Turner flat out denied cheating with conviction. "No one on the San Diego Chargers used Stickum," he told reporters.
The San Diego Chargers issued the following statement Wednesday:
"The NFL found no competitive violation with the use of the towel and the Chargers were not fined for using the towel. The League has directed all clubs to not use the towel pending further notice. We are appealing the fine for failing to cooperate with a game official’s directive. Our staff member was unaware that the game official was trying to get his attention and he cooperated fully once he became aware."
While the NFL said as much, officials also said the team could've been more helpful when asked to turn over the alleged sticky towel. Here's the official NFL Statement:
"Following a review of the San Diego Chargers use of towels that included an adhesive substance in an October 15 game against the Denver Broncos, the NFL has determined that the club did not violate a competitive rule by use of the towels.
However, NFL game officials are charged with protecting the integrity and competitive fairness of the games and club staff members, like players and coaches, have a clear obligation to cooperate in this effort and comply with the direction of game officials. As a result of the failure of club staff to follow the directive of a game official to immediately surrender the towels when directed to do so, and to attempt to conceal the towels, the Chargers have been fined $20,000.
In order to ensure that products that may have a possible competitive effect are given appropriate review and testing, our office – after consultation with the Competition Committee – has advised all clubs that the use of towels or other products that contain any type of adhesive substance is now prohibited on game days until further notice."
Check back for updates on this developing story.