Basketball: Eagles coach Flournoy grounded after fracas

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The Independent Online

The Newcastle Eagles player-coach, Fab Flournoy, has been banned for three games and will miss the BBL Trophy semi-final after the on-court altercation with his Birmingham Bullets counterpart, Skouson Harker, this month for which both were ejected.

Flournoy received 20 penalty points from England Basketball, the sport's governing body which deals with incidents which happen on court, for connecting with a punch on Harker, who was ejected for swearing at officials.

Harker's 14 penalty points rule him out of the game against Guildford Heat on New Year's Day. Apart from the Trophy semi-final on 6 January, Flournoy will also miss championship games against London Towers on 7 January and the Rocks on 13 January. The players have seven days to appeal.

But the incident has not ended there. Harker, a 6ft 8in Canadian, has alleged that Flournoy punched him in the corridor outside the locker-rooms after both players left the court and has made a statement to police in Solihull.

The BBL is conducting an inquiry into this, as England Basketball does not handle disciplinary matters away from the court, but is waiting for an indication that the police are taking any action. The BBL has offered independent arbitration to settle the dispute.