Basketball: Brighton to pay penalty as Rodman tastes defeat

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The Independent Online

The publicity coup earned by the Brighton Bears coach, Nick Nurse, in signing the former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman for three British Basketball League games will cost his club the two points won on the American's debut ­ the 91-88 defeat of Guildford Heat on 28 January.

The 6ft 7in Rodman played his second game last night, an 85-75 defeat against Newcastle Eagles in front of 3,000 at the Brighton Centre, and faces London Towers tonight. But Nurse was forced by the BBL to omit the Barbadian Andrew Alleyne from both games after his registration was withdrawn yesterday.

Rodman scored six points in 38 minutes but took 23 rebounds ­ he led the NBA in boards for seven consecutive seasons. He was one of four work-permit players to face Guildford, but BBL regulations allow only three. Nurse was given until 4pm on Friday to prove Alleyne no longer required a permit and now had a "resident" stamp in his passport.

The BBL chairman, Paul Blake, also the Eagles managing director, said: " Nick failed to provide any paperwork to prove that Alleyne is anything other than a permit player.'' A BBL disciplinary commission will consider Brighton's actions today.