scenes at Crystal Palace when the BBL Trophy encounter between London Towers
and Milton Keynes Lions was abandonned in an apparent dispute over player
licensing have resulted in the blame going on the match official, while
censuring the Lions for their action.
The England Basketball
license of Lions forward Robert Youngblood was not available before the
game, a requirement under national regulations.
However Milton Keynes
management accused lead referee Keith Williams of acting improperly when
he did not permit Youngblood to take the court.
In a statement, the
league stated that Williams failed to:
- apply the correct
rules regarding the participation of Milton Keynes' Robert Youngblood in
- make reasonable
efforts to clarify the position with the BBL, despite the intervention
of both participating clubs
- apply the fundamental
principle for all games of basketball - that the game should go ahead,
with disputes referred afterwards to the authorities
BBL has referred
Mr Williams' actions to England Basketball, who have jurisdiction over
match officials, and who will consider whether there is a case for disciplinary
While noting the
above as the primary reason for the abandonment, tMilton Keynes is also
censured for refusing to apply the same fundamental principle, that the
game should always go ahead with disputes resolved at a later date.
In a scenario never
before seen in the BBL, Nigel Lloyd's side refused to tip off and in their
absence, officials allowed the Towers to jump ball and score two points
before the game was called off with the hosts gaining a nominal 2-0 win.
The move will embarrass
the BBL in the wake of their decision to dispense with the use of sanctioned
and neutral Commissioners at matches this term, a move widely seen as a