Friday, December 14, 2001

Vikings fine Moss $15,000 for verbal abuse

Report says he yelled at team sponsors on bus

Enquirer news services

        MINNESOTA — The Minnesota Vikings, who have been criticized for failing to control wide receiver Randy Moss, fined him $15,000 for verbally abusing a group of corporate sponsors on a team bus.

        Moss was fined Nov.12, the day after a 48-17 loss at Philadelphia, but the Vikings didn't announce the fine then, and coach Dennis Green declined to confirm it Thursday.

        But a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Moss was fined for an exchange with sponsors who shared the team's bus after the loss to the Eagles.

        Moss wasn't immediately available at the team's practice facility on Thursday, and his agent, Dante DiTrapano, declined comment.

        Twin Cities newspapers first reported the fine in their Thursday editions.

        The Star Tribune reported that Moss was upset to find the seat he wanted occupied by a sponsor, and raised his voice when the person didn't move immediately.

        The AP source said the sponsor complained to owner Red McCombs, who directed Green to do something about the behavior.

        The Vikings, like most other NFL teams, typically invite to road games top executives of the companies that advertise with them.

        After McCombs gave him an eight-year, $75 million extension during the summer, Moss has been inconsistent and the Vikings have fallen to 5-7. After saying before the Tennessee game on Dec. 9 that he plays “when I want to play,” Moss was booed several times early, but later drew cheers for his 73-yard touchdown reception in the Vikings' 42-24 victory.

        He has been fined $20,000 by the NFL this season, twice for taunting and once for wearing an unapproved cap on the sideline during a preseason game.

        Before that, Moss was fined $10,000 in November 1999 for verbal abuse of a side judge; $25,000 in January 2000 for squirting liquid on a field judge; and $40,000 in October 2000 for making contact with an official.


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