McKinnie ordered to pay back Pro Bowl

Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie lost more than $25,000 for his failure to show up to Pro Bowl practices late in the week and communicate the reason for his absence. McKinnie lost the NFC game check and must pay back the NFL expenses on his part.

Although it didn't match his champagne bill, the first fallout from Bryant McKinnie's Pro Bowl no-show came back to haunt him Friday.

The NFL announced Friday that McKinnie must pay back $4,285.13 for expenses the league incurred on his behalf during the week of the Pro Bowl. McKinnie, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl in eight NFL seasons, skipped most of the practices and team meetings before being dismissed from the NFC squad.

It had been announced almost immediately after his dismissal from the squad that McKinnie would forfeit his game check, which, for the losing NFC team, amounted to $22,500. The latest $4,285.13 tab comes out of his pocket. No announcement was made as to whether McKinnie would be fined for his conduct, but it would appear that no fine is being assessed other than the repayment of the expense money. However, the incident isn't finished and sanctions may end up being put in place for the next player who pulls a stunt similar to that of McKinnie.

"The Competition Committee will review this matter to determine whether additional steps should be taken to deter this type of conduct at the Pro Bowl in the future," league spokesman Randall Liu wrote in an e-mail Friday.

The NFL's competition committee will review the matter next month at league meetings.

Many people associated with the league and the Vikings have expressed regret about the McKinnie situation, especially in light of his previously stated desire to get to the Pro Bowl level.

"To get an honor to go play in the Pro Bowl is something that's unique and something that should be cherished," Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said during the Vikings' Arctic Blast fundraiser last weekend. "It's a privilege and honor to go there and play in a game like that and I know from an organizational standpoint that we were disappointed, as well as a lot of our fans were, how things turned out."

It now appears as though McKinnie might be the example made for others who follow in his Pro Bowl footsteps that such actions won't be tolerated by the league. Don't think that we have heard the last of this matter, because it might dog McKinnie for the rest of his playing career.


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    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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