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NBA has no fighting chance to save its image

November 23, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

This is one of those weeks when I have an opportunity to comment on a variety of things, some not so good, some that are.

At the top of the list is Friday's NBA brawl in Detroit.

Just another reason why the NBA, in my mind, is the Nonsense Basketball Association.

Commissioner David Stern did what he had to do Sunday when he levied the suspensions based on review of the player-fan fiasco.

Ron Artest is a thug - there's no question and he proved once again that he's nearly lost all control.

NBA rules, because of problems the league has had with fighting over the years, state that no player is to go into the stands for any reason.

Artest couldn't turn away from the badgering of the Detroit fans and broke loose once again, followed by his teammates Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson.

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The fans that helped instigate the brawl should, and most likely will when the authorities complete their investigation, be dealt with in the proper legal manner. As far as I'm concerned, they should never be allowed in an arena again.

For Artest, his suspension for the remainder of the season is just and fair. And those suspensions handed out to O'Neal and Jackson are proper, as well as Detroit's Ben Wallace getting six games for pushing Artest after a hard personal foul that was the precursor to the brawl.

It's just another sad event in the life of the NBA and without a doubt the blackest mark ever endured by professional sports.

· As if Friday's basketball problem wasn't enough, South Carolina and Clemson got into a brawl Saturday in the final college football game coached by Lou Holtz for the Gamecocks.

You know, it is really getting ridiculous these days in sports when fights are generating the top news. I always thought, and the last time I saw, fights are supposed to take place inside ropes with the participants wearing gloves.

And we've got all these instances of players performing their own dance routines in the end zone after a touchdown or a big sack. To Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and all the rest of you: I'm not impressed (not that they really care).

No matter the sport, baseball included, why can't these professionals go out on the field of competition and play the game and act the part as they are paid to do - professionally?

· The weekend produced many positives for area scholastic sports teams, and even those that suffered through the negatives should consider their seasons nothing but a success.

Kudos are in order for the Williamsport volleyball team after winning its third straight Maryland Class 1A volleyball championship and to the Middletown and Tuscarora girls for winning state championships in soccer.

The same goes to Martinsburg for Friday's sterling comeback victory against Jefferson to remain alive for another week in the West Virginia football playoffs.

Conversely, the gallant Cougars should hold their heads up despite the setback for turning their season around under first-year coach Richard Mills.

The same holds true in Frederick, where 22 seniors fought from the shambles of a 2-8 record in 2002 to reach the region finals before losing to Northwest Friday night.

Add Smithsburg to the mix for reaching the 12th week of the season at a time of year when many football players who plan on playing basketball have started practice.

· One last note and it is a message I should e-mail to the Oklahoma and Auburn football teams.

It would tell them not to worry about who is out of the mix in the BCS race for the national title. Both of them will get a shot at it because Notre Dame will defeat Southern California Saturday.

The 76th renewal of one of the great intercollegiate rivalries in football takes place in Los Angeles. It is Notre Dame's turn to ruin USC's season.

During the course of the rivalry, there have been many years when one school has ruined the national aspirations of the other.

It was a great Saturday past with Ohio State canning Michigan and I look for an even greater Saturday hence with Notre Dame polishing off the Trojan Horse.




Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald Mail. He can be reached at 301-731-5131, ext. 2311 or by e-mail at: koelble@herald-mail.com

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