Do the players have to pay for the footballs that they give to fans?

When a football player scores a touchdown and throws or hands the ball to someone in the stands, does he have to pay for the ball? What does it cost him?

My brother-in-law says it is an automatic fine.


Some years ago the player could throw the ball into the stands with no penalty. Then the league instituted an automatic fine to discourage the practice. Not sure, but I think the fine is $100 which basically covers the cost of the ball.

The fine appears to be variable. In 2002, Michael Vick was fined $2500 for throwing a ball into the stands, at about the same time that he was fined $5000 for a dress code violation. He appealed, and the NFL eventually rescinded both fines and reduced them to warnings.

The cost of the ball is trivial. Wilson “official NFL” balls retail for about $60:

The teams undoubtedly get them from a commercial supplier for less.

Yea, but you need to include sales tax, shipping & handling, NFL fine administration charges, agent fees and all of the rest of the malarky that is used to diguise actual out of pocket costs.