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Miller: Upshaw’s Spitting Fine High

December 8, 2000

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Oakland defensive end Regan Upshaw, ordered by the NFL to pay almost $30,000 for spitting on Steelers punter Josh Miller, thinks the fine is too high.

Miller agrees.

``I don’t make the rules but that’s a huge number,″ Miller said Friday. ``When I heard that, it blew me away.″

Upshaw and Miller exchanged words after a Pittsburgh punt in the third quarter of the Steelers’ 21-20 win last weekend. Then Upshaw leaned forward and spit on Miller. After the game, Upshaw said Miller cursed at him.

Steelers coach Bill Cowher criticized Upshaw at his postgame news conference, saying there was no room for that kind of behavior in the NFL.

The NFL chose to dock him a week’s pay. That works out to $29,411.

``I don’t come from a lot of money and I make great money, but $30,000 is an awful lot for doing that,″ Miller said. ``I didn’t start it and I didn’t egg him on _ but that’s a lot of money.″

Upshaw said he was expecting to be fined about $7,500. That’s the amount Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski was fined three years ago for spitting on San Francisco wide receiver J.J. Stokes.

Miller said he wasn’t sure what kind of penalty the league would assess.

``I don’t know,″ he said. ``I’d heard that Romanowski got $7,500, so I was thinking maybe $10,000. But, again, I don’t know anything other than when it’s fourth down, I punt. That’s as much as I know as far as anything having to do with anything.″

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