NFL -- League Lightens Wallets Of Steeler Coach, Refs

PITTSBURGH - Bill Cowher has no problem with addition, so the NFL is making him practice his subtraction.

Cowher, the Pittsburgh Steelers' coach who angrily reacted to an incorrect too-many-men penalty by stuffing a photo into a referee's shirt, must subtract $7,500 from his next paycheck for a fine.

The NFL also disciplined the two officials involved in a miscalculation that cost Pittsburgh three points in a 44-24 loss to Minnesota Sept. 24.

Ben Montgomery, the line judge who incorrectly counted 12 Steelers, and referee Gordon McCarter, who upheld the call, were fined the equivalent of one game's paycheck.

The play in question occurred as Viking kicker Fuad Reveiz missed a 48-yard field goal late in the first half. Given a second chance by the penalty, Reveiz hit a 43-yarder that put Minnesota up 13-7 at halftime.

Cowher called a timeout and desperately tried to show McCarter an overhead photo showing only 11 Steelers. McCarter, who cannot rely on video or photographic assistance to make a call, declined to look.

At halftime, Cowher confronted McCarter and stuffed the picture into his shirt pocket. Afterward, he angrily criticized the call, and said he "didn't care" if he were fined.

"You have a potentially lost game because somebody counted wrong," Cowher said. "I've sat here for 3 1/2 years and I've defended the officiating, but (this) was a debacle."

Moon's wife feared for life

RICHMOND, Texas - Warren Moon's wife feared for her life when the quarterback attacked herat the couple's home the past summer, according to a police affidavit.

"I was afraid for my life," Felicia Moon told police as she recounted the July 18 incident. "I saw black and could not breathe."

Her statement is in a probable-cause affidavit, obtained by The Houston Chronicle and revealed in yesterday's editions.

Moon, traded by Houston to the Minnesota Vikings after the 1993 season, faces a Class A misdemeanor assault charge. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 24.


CINCINNATI - Jeff Blake, who made the minimum $162,000 salary last season, has just become the richest quarterback in Cincinnati Bengal history.

Agent Ralph Cindrich struck a lightning-quick contract extension with the Bengals that keeps Blake in Cincinnati through the 1999 season. No numbers were released, but Blake's average annual salary is believed to be $3.1 million.

Blake led the Bengals to victories in their first two games and established himself among the NFL passing leaders.


-- John Walker Jr., 31, a former employee of the NFL players' union, was sentenced to five months in prison in Washington, D.C., for embezzling more than $70,000 from the organization. Walker also was ordered to repay more than $24,000.

-- Running back Rodney Hampton of New York won't require surgery to repair a fractured bone in his right hand, a team doctor said. But Hampton, hurt during the Giants' loss to San Francisco, isn't expected to play against Arizona next Sunday.

-- Washington signed defensive tackle Romeo Bandison, and released linebacker Phil Yeboah-Kodie. Bandison is an ex-Oregon standout.

-- Philadelphia waived offensive lineman Theo Adams and running back Terry Richardson.

-- Ex-NFL running back Cleveland Gary, 29, who was released by the St. Louis Rams five weeks ago, filed for personal bankruptcy in West Palm Beach, Fla., listing debts of more than $600,000.

Compiled from Associated Press, Cincinnati Enquirer and Bloomberg News Service.