As a pending free agent, Santonio Holmes figures to cash in when the lockout is over and the league year begins. On Thursday, he was in the news for a different money-related reason.
Holmes is one of 25 NFL players who could be disciplined by the league for investing in an Alabama bingo and entertainment company, according to a report by Yahoo!Sports. Under league rules, a league employee isn't allowed to associate with a gaming operation. The NFL is sensitive to the gambling issue, and understandably so.
The report says that 25 players, including Holmes, Terrell Owens and Santana Moss, invested a total of $20 million in the casino. Jason Cole, who wrote the story, reports:
From an NFL standpoint, the league currently has no authority to discipline players while it’s in the midst of an owners-initiated lockout. However, though the NFL has yet to contact financial advisor Jeff Rubin, who guided the players to the investment and is currently working to re-open the venture, a formal investigation and/or disciplinary action is possible once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
“If it were to be determined that an NFL employee had made an investment in violation of league policy on gambling-related activities, that individual would be directed to withdraw the investment and it would be reviewed for potential discipline,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
The players could be forced to divest, which would cost them millions. They could be subject to a fine and/or suspension from the league. Holmes is no stranger to suspensions. He missed the first four games last season because of a four-game ban for failing the league's substance-abuse policy.