Basketball: Bears count Rodman cost

Rodman, the 6ft 7in former NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, completed a quartet of four players requiring work permits in the team, although BBL regulations allow only three. Brighton won 91-88, but the Guildford coach, Paul James, stated before the game that they were playing under protest in order not not to disappoint a capacity crowd of 1,500.

Guildford have been awarded that game 20-0 and the Bears have forfeited a further point, and been fined and warned as to their conduct. Bears are still sixth in the table but only one point ahead of Guildford, whom they play tonight.

A BBL statement from a disciplinary commission said: "Despite notification of the need to either withdraw a work permitted player or prove a change of eligibility, Brighton failed to submit any such paperwork." Nurse also failed to meet a deadline of last Friday to supply a passport for one of his other work permit players, the Barbadian Andrew Alleyne, proving he was now a resident of the UK, as Nurse had claimed.

The BBL then deregistered Alleyne for Rodman's two games this week, an 85-75 defeat to Newcastle Eagles and Wednesday's 103-84 win against London Towers, in which Rodman contributed just four points and nine rebounds to conclude a stint which reputedly earned him £50,000.

Any inclination towards leniency the disciplinary panel may have felt would have disappeared after Nurse's comments this week. "It's ridiculous," he said. "You've got him [Rodman] playing in your little league and you've got to follow some dumb rules."

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