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Terrell Owens

I Missed Court

to Audition for the NFL

11/4/2011 5:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Terrell Owens
claims he wasn't trying to duck his baby's mother by not appearing at a child support hearing last month ... instead, he claims he had an obligation to attend a public workout session in the hopes of securing an NFL contract.

TMZ broke the story ... a California judge issued a bench warrant for the football player's arrest for not appearing at a scheduled hearing on October 24.

But T.O.'s rep tells us he tried like hell to reschedule because he had a massively publicized workout at Calabasas High School that day (below) ... but his baby's mother wouldn't cut him a break.

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As far as the child support payments are concerned, T.O's rep says ... "Mr. Owens pays child support payments for his 4 children. The amounts are based on his 2007 Cowboys income of $11-$12 million a year."

T.O. claims the payments are unfair because he was making 1/5 of the money when he was playing for the Bengals after he left Dallas ... and currently has "no income."

The rep concludes, "Mr. Owens is working to resolve all of these matters and appreciates his fans' support. We are confident that Mr. Owens will be signed this season to the NFL and all of his child support payments will be modified fairly according to his true income."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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