The NFL is rescinding the $10,000 fine it levied on Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak for his scuffle with Cincinnati Bengals safety Reggie Nelson on the sideline during an AFC wild-card game, Munchak told the Houston Chronicle at a Special Olympics fundraiser Sunday.
Munchak told ESPN on Friday at Ohio State's pro day that he appealed the fine and told the league during the process that his grab of Nelson's long hair during the game Jan. 9 was inadvertent. A league spokesman said Friday that the NFL has no comment on coach or player appeals.
Munchak also said he tried to bear-hug Nelson to lessen the impact when Nelson flew into Pittsburgh's sideline on an attempt to tackle running back Jordan Todman.
Nelson bumped into Munchak and the two appeared to push each other. Munchak caught some of Nelson's long hair with the same hand that he used to carry the offensive play sheet. The two were penalized by officials, who deliberated, then gave Munchak and the Steelers a 15-yard penalty.
It was difficult to tell whether Munchak's hair-grab was malicious at the time, but Bengals corner Adam Jones called Munchak's behavior "uncalled for" on "The Dan Patrick Show" in January.
"He should have been escorted to the locker room," Jones said. "If a player would have done that ... I'm quite sure he would have been kicked out the game."
The league also fined Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter $10,000 for an argument with Jones on the field during an injury timeout late in the fourth quarter. There has been no word on whether his fine was rescinded as well.