EBL Men’s teams disciplined
Two EBL men’s teams will go into the 2012/2013 season without key members after being hit with a series of penalties following disciplinary action by England Basketball for fielding ineligible players.
Former Division One side PAWS London Capital and ex-Division Two Birmingham A’s were both found guilty of serious misconduct and bringing the game into disrepute after allowing players on court illegally during the 2011/12 campaign.
Relegated PAWS London Capital will tip-off their Division Two campaign with a 12-point penalty, a £750 fine (£250 of which is suspended) and without coach Milek Jivens, player/coach and team captain Chiedozie Offiah and player Kofi Danso. All three were suspended from participating in all basketball activities after Danso was discovered to have played in a league fixture at BA London Leopards in January despite not being listed on the scoresheet.
Bans until April 30, 2013 for Jivens and Offiah effectively rules them out of the entire campaign, while Danso, who played under the guise of ex-teammate Dapo Fegbenie, cannot return to the game until the end of April 2014.
Birmingham A’s, after finishing in the bottom two of Division 2, have been relegated to Division 3 for the forthcoming season, and will start their season with a 6-point penalty. The club was also hit with a fine of £500 (£200 suspended) with player Dennis Preware, who took to the court against London United under the name of colleague Darren Hume-Francis, suspended from all aspects of the game until April 30, 2013.
Michael Gayle, who at the same fixture was listed as coach despite not being registered to do so, also finds himself sidelined for the early weeks of the season after being hit with a ban until December 31, 2012.
The Birmingham A’s lodged an appeal against the findings of the England Basketball Disciplinary Panel; however, an independent Appeals Panel found all of the charges against the club to be properly laid and endorsed the decisions of the Disciplinary Panel.
Any repeat infractions by the clubs concerned will lead to the suspended fines becoming payable along with any penalties for any new offences.