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Moss Fined $40,000 in Squirting Incident

From Staff and Wire Reports

All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss was fined $40,000 by the NFL Thursday for squirting a water bottle at an official in the Vikings’ playoff loss to the Rams.

The Minnesota star, who was fined $10,000 earlier this season for verbally abusing an official, is appealing.

“Our position is that the fine is excessive,” agent Dante’ DiTrapano said, adding that the first fine also was under appeal.

The NFL said Moss, standing near the Viking bench during the fourth quarter, squirted field judge Jim Saracino after an incomplete pass and his unsuccessful plea for a defensive interference penalty. Viking spokesman Bob Hagan said the bottle probably contained water.

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Moss acknowledged his actions after the game but has said little since.

The NFL said the latest fine was so high because it was Moss’ second violation this season. The amount for a second offense is up to Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

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Ronald Botchan of Granada Hills, an NFL official for 20 years, has been selected to work as the umpire for Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta.

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It will be Botchan’s fifth Super Bowl, a record for an umpire.

Botchan, 64, is a physical education teacher at L.A. City College. He played linebacker at Belmont High, Occidental College and for the Houston Oilers.

He also worked the AFC wild-card game between Miami and Seattle.

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The Washington Redskins fired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan after the team’s defense finished the season ranked 30th of 31 NFL teams. While the Redskins had one of the NFL’s most explosive offensive units, Nolan’s defense surrendered 356.6 yards a game, second worst in the league to Cleveland’s 377.9. The Redskins also fired 50-year-old defensive backs coach Tom Hayes and said defensive line coach Earl Leggett, 64, retired. . . . Foge Fazio, 60, has resigned as Viking defensive coordinator to become linebackers coach for the Redskins, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Meanwhile, former Oakland Raider defensive coordinator Willie Shaw, the Vikings’ reported top choice to replace Fazio, told Viking Coach Dennis Green he was not interested in the job. . . . The Seattle Seahawks hired Gil Haskell as their new offensive coordinator to replace Mike Sherman, hired this week as head coach by the Green Bay Packers. Also, the Seahawks announced that Jim Lind will take over Sherman’s duties as the tight ends coach next season and that Steve Sidwell will become the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. He was at New England last season.

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Suspended Miami Dolphin running back Cecil Collins, jailed on a probation violation, apparently won’t be heading back to Louisiana any time soon--and he might face even more charges in his Florida case.

Circuit Judge Dale Ross ruled a waiver of extradition from Louisiana--signed by Collins--was indeed valid, but that the state will have to wait until Florida courts are through with him.

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Collins is charged with one count of burglary for breaking into a neighbor’s apartment Dec. 16. He remains in a Broward County jail awaiting extradition for violating his Louisiana probation.

In Louisiana, he was charged twice in the summer of 1998 with unauthorized entry at his apartment complex in Baton Rouge. Both cases involved female residents, including a 17-year-old who accused Collins of exposing himself.

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Seahawk left tackle Walter Jones was named to replace Tony Boselli of the Jacksonville Jaguars on the AFC roster for the Pro Bowl. . . . The Sporting News named Dick Vermeil of the St. Louis Rams its coach of the year and Ram quarterback Kurt Warner its player of the year. Six other Rams--running back Marshall Faulk, offensive lineman Orlando Pace, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, defensive end Kevin Carter and kickoff returner Tony Horne--were chosen for the magazine’s All-Pro team. . . . Ram kicker Jeff Wilkins, bothered by tendinitis in his left knee, declared himself fit for Sunday’s NFC title game against Tampa Bay. . . . Randy Mueller, vice president of football operations for the Seahawks, has been interviewed by the New Orleans Saints for their general manager position.

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Staff Writer Eric Sondheimer contributed to this story.


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