NFL not laughing about Ochocinco's dollar-bill joke, fines him $20K

Chad Ochocinco's pretend $1 bribe cost him a lot more.

The NFL fined the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver $20,000 and reprimanded him 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.


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

Ray Anderson, the NFL'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 that aren't part of their uniform onto the field. The NFL has cracked down on players using props for celebrations.

During the third quarter of the Bengals' 17-7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, officials initially ruled that Ochocinco got both feet down at the sideline for a 15-yard catch. The Ravens challenged the call, which 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.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis seemed to support the league's decision to fine Ochocinco.

"You don't fool with the integrity of the game in the NFL," Lewis said, according to the team's Web site. "You don't cross that line, and he crossed that line. I told him that, and obviously the league felt that.

"We're not the WWF. It's a serious game for serious people. You can't do that, and he realizes he made a very big error in judgment. He's sorry for it. Hopefully some good will come out of it. I'm sure the league at some point can't have a copycat deal. So I think they made a pretty firm statement there will be no copycats."

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 hosts an annual golf tournament that has raised more than $400,000 for it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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