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Houston Oilers Order Player To Pay $125,000 For Missing Game

October 20, 1993

HOUSTON (AP) _ The Houston Oilers made it official Tuesday night: it will cost tackle David Williams $125,000 for staying with his wife after the birth of their first child.

The team said Williams had enough time after the birth Saturday to catch a flight to Boston for Sunday’s game with the New England Patriots.

″Because he did not play in the game, he will not receive his game check,″ the team said in an unsigned statement. ″This however, should not be construed or reported as a fine.″

The Oilers said that Williams, who earns $2 million a season, will remain in good standing with the club.

Neither Williams nor his lawyer, Leigh Steinberg, could be reached immediately for comment. The NFL said the issue is a team matter.

″Whatever the fine, it’s money well spent,″ Williams said Monday when he rejoined the team. ″I don’t regret what I’ve done. I wanted to be there for my child to be born and I was going to stay there until he was.″

Scot Cooper Williams was born Saturday evening.

Steinberg said Monday if the Oilers docked Williams a week’s pay, he would file a grievance and sue the team.

Williams had permission from the Oilers to miss team meetings and practices on Saturday and to miss the team charter flight to Boston for Sunday’s game, the statement said.

But after that, the team said, he had plenty of time to get to Boston.

″Once the birth had occurred and doctors had assured David that Debi and Scot were doing well, there were approximately 17 hours until the kickoff of Sunday’s Oilers-Patriots game,″ the team statement said.

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