Friday, December 31, 2004
U.S. District Court Judge George B. Daniels, upheld the arbitrator's decision in the dispute bteween the NBA and Jermaine O'Neal of the Indiana Pacers. According to the judge,
According to the NYT (Judge's Ruling Favors O'Neal):
The league went to court after arbitrator Roger Kaplan said O'Neal's penalty should be cut to 15 games, citing the player's ``character, community involvement and citizenship.''
The NBA challenged Kaplan's authority to hear an appeal of Stern's punishment.
``We are puzzled with Judge Daniels' ruling because the Collective Bargaining Agreement states that an appeal of a suspension for 'conduct on the playing court' may be made only to the Commissioner, not to an arbitrator, and Jermaine O'Neal's actions took place entirely on the playing court,'' the NBA said in a statement Thursday. ...
``Fighting with or striking a fan has never been characterized as conduct on the playing court,'' Daniels said, reading from a written ruling. ``Striking a fan is inexcusable, and appropriately considered something different and much more serious.''