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INDIANAPOLIS -- On Monday, NFL teams will begin their interviews with prospects at this week's NFL scouting combine. The league has warned all teams that offensive questioning of players could result in fines in the thousands of dollars and the loss of a significant draft pick.

According to a league memo obtained by CBS Sports, the NFL informed teams in January that "improper and/or offensive questions" have in the past "prompted inquiries from state attorneys general and other governmental authorities which pose potential liability" for the NFL and its teams.

If the league finds a team conducted itself in an inappropriate or unlawful manner during an interview, the team and its representative(s) could be fined a minimum of $350,000 and have to forfeit a draft pick no later than the third round.

The punishment is a significant increase over what was previously reported in January, when the Associated Press reported the league had punishments scheduled at a fine of at least $150,000 and a draft pick no later than the fourth round.

"All clubs," the memo reads, "should ensure that prospective draft picks, and free agents whom your club may consider signing, are afforded professionalism, respect, and dignity commensurate with the high standards of the NFL -- and consistent with state and federal laws."

The NFL reminded teams that federal and state laws, along with the collective bargaining agreement, prohibit discrimination based on factors like race, national origin, religion, disabilities or sexual orientation. The memo tells teams to focus their questions "only to truly job-related functions."

The league also offers a chart of acceptable questions to ask about a certain topic as well as questions that may "pose high risk for unlawful discrimination." There are dozens of examples of acceptable and high-risk questions the league provides.

Instead of asking "Were you ever placed in 'special education' classes in school?," which is considered a high-risk question, teams are informed that an acceptable question considering potential learning disabilities would be "Is there anything that would make it difficult for you to participate in all of our practices and games? If so, what help would you need in order to play?"

Rather than the high-risk question of "Have you ever experienced a mental health illness?," an acceptable question concerning mental health would be "Tell me about some obstacles or hardships you've had to overcome and how you did it."

The question "Do you drink alcohol?" is more acceptable than asking "Do you have a drinking problem?" or "Are your parents alcoholics or drug users?"

There have been a handful of interview incidents over the years at the combine. Perhaps the most well known occurred in 2010, when then-Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland apologized after asking Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. In 2016, a Falcons coach asked Eli Apple about his sexual preference.

The NFL scouting combine -- as well as all pre-draft events -- have undergone significant changes amid scrutiny in recent years. Last year, all-star events such as the Senior Bowl did away with public weigh-ins. This year, the NFL is debuting body scans in hopes of eventually replacing manual measuring systems for athletes.

At December's league meetings, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent made a reference to a "slave auction" when discussing upcoming combine changes. That phrase led to several NFL owners getting defensive in the meeting.

And just earlier this month, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith questioned the entire usefulness of the combine.

In the eyes of many, these changes are long overdue. But they're also necessary for athletes of today. If the league wishes to continue the combine -- and bids from cities who wish to host the event between 2025-28 are ongoing -- some accommodations for athletes are needed.

With the proliferation of private workouts as well as the post-COVID usefulness of pro days, draft-eligible athletes don't exactly need the combine as they may have once. Making the event more player-friendly could help its long-term viability.