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Romanowski scolds 7th-grader, keeps coaching gig

PIEDMONT, Calif. -- Former NFL player Bill Romanowski can
continue coaching his 12-year-old son's flag football team after
scolding another seventh-grader over what the notorious linebacker
considered dirty play, the recreation league's director said
Wednesday.

Romanowski, who retired in 2004 after a controversial 16-year
career that included stints with the 49ers and Raiders, took over
his son's recreation-league squad this fall in Piedmont, an upscale
enclave in the Oakland hills.

Romanowski already had protested rough play during the team's
game last week in nearby Lafayette when he thought an opposing
player tripped one of his son's teammates. He briefly confronted
the player he accused of doing the tripping on the field, according
to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lafayette officials complained, saying Romanowski wouldn't be
allowed to return to Lafayette to coach when the two teams meet for
a rematch next month. But Piedmont Recreation Department director
Mark Delventhal met with Romanowski on Wednesday and said he trusts
the coach not to engage in out-of-bounds behavior.

"At this point, I have utmost confidence that Mr. Romanowski
will continue to conduct himself in a manner that's appropriate,"
Delventhal told The Associated Press. "I think our players are
very fortunate to have Mr. Romanowski as a coach."

Efforts to reach Romanowski were not immediately successful.

Romanowski won four Super Bowl championships in the NFL, playing
for Denver and Philadelphia along with both Bay Area teams. He
played in 243 consecutive games, a record for linebackers.

But Romanowski also earned a reputation as one of pro football's
dirtiest players, accused of everything from dirty hits to spitting
in opponents' faces. Last year, he acknowledged using steroids and
human growth hormone supplied by Victor Conte, founder of the Bay
Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

In 2003, Romanowski punched teammate Marcus Williams during
practice with the Raiders, breaking his eye socket. Williams
received $415,000 in a lawsuit settlement with Romanowski, who
retired after the season.

Romanowski, who lives in Piedmont, has dabbled in broadcasting
and acting since his retirement, appearing in the Adam
Sandler-starring remake of "The Longest Yard." He also appears on
the cover of the latest edition of "Blitz: The League," an
extra-violent football video game.

"I can talk smack, kick, punch, spit, knee you in the groin,
and it's all legal," Romanowski said of the video game in a recent
interview with IGN.com, a gaming web site. "This is my type of
game."