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Ochocinco fined $20,000 for $1 'bribe'

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009
 

CINCINNATI -- Chad Ochocinco's pretend $1 bribe is going to cost him a lot more.

The Cincinnati Bengals receiver was fined $20,000 and reprimanded by the NFL for taking a dollar bill onto the field during an officials' review of one of his catches last Sunday. Ochocinco held the dollar in his right hand at his side but didn't give it to the official, who motioned for him to stay away.

Ochocinco said he was just having fun, but the league didn't like it.

Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, sent Ochocinco a letter that said: "The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player."

The letter cited league rules that prohibit abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures toward officials.

The letter also noted that players are prohibited from taking items onto the field that are not part of their uniform. The league has cracked down on players using props for celebrations.

During the third quarter of Cincinnati's 17-7 win over the Baltimore Ravens, officials initially ruled that Ochocinco got both feet down at the sideline for a 15-yard catch. The Ravens challenged, and the call was overturned when replays showed the receiver's toe landed on the white sideline.

While the play was under review, Ochocinco walked toward the officials with the dollar bill.

In response to the fine, the company that made Ochocinco's iPhone application said it will donate an additional $20,000 in the receiver's name to the Hillview Acres home for abused children in Chino, Calif. John Shahidi, the president and CEO of Rock Software, Inc., has assisted the home. Also, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer plays host to an annual golf tournament that has raised more than $400,000 for it.

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