Cowher fined for criticizing official

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Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - The NFL fined Pittsburgh head coach Bill Cowher $10,000 for criticizing replay official Dale Hamer after last week's 24-20 loss to Cincinnati. Cowher drew the fine for publicly criticizing game officials, a violation of league rules. He has since apologized publicly and privately to Hamer, a former referee.

The controversy stemmed from what Cowher believed should have been an automatic review in the closing seconds of the first half on a play in which quarterback fumbled at the ' 10-yard line.

Cowher felt Batch threw a forward pass while the officiating crew on the field ruled that Batch released the ball behind the line of scrimmage -- a lateral that could be recovered by the opposing team.

As per NFL rules, reviews in the last two minutes of each half come from the upstairs replay official, Hamer in this case, who did not call for a replay.

When Cowher was told after the game that Hamer was in the booth, Cowher replied, "I guess that's why he's retired."

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