2007_Spring/Summer AAA~Elite (SF/Oakland)
Players and fans from Hyph, STN Suspended
"We have set up the goal of eliminating fighting from our game. We haven't eliminated it completely."
-- David Stern
The league office, in cooperation with the referees and gym director, has suspended Andrew Matawaran of Hyphy for 2 games and Shane Rivera of Second To None for 1 game. Furthermore, the relatives of Matawaran and Rivera have been banned from attending dreamleague games for the remainder of the season.
Rivera also plays on the AAA-6FT Alameda Ballaz team. He is not suspended from that team, as this incident pertains only to Rivera in the context of Second To None. However, it goes without saying that Rivera will be under the refs' microscope in his next Alameda Ballaz game.
The altercation that occurred directly between Matawaran and Rivera can be traced to late in the game when Matawaran committed his 6th personal foul and was forced to the bench by the disqualification. Rivera excessively celebrated the situation in a manner demeaning to Matawaran and Hyphy. It was a celebration that, shall we say, danced too closely on the line of becoming personal. Such stretching of the limits of personal boundaries occurred during the game on more than a few occasions.
As we have previously mentioned and as stated in our RULES & REGULATIONS page, taunting cannot be tolerated because it inevitably leads to a physical altercation.
In this case, it did. After the game was over Matawaran crossed the line and went after Rivera, shoving him in the process. Matawaran's teammates on Hyphy quelled the situation in holding back Matawaran. No punches were thrown. Had there been punches thrown, we would have likely seen season-long suspensions.
Worse, the situation spilled into the stands. Matawaran's family got into a physical altercation with Rivera's family in the stands. Without even needing anymore details than that, we have banned both families from attending anymore dreamleague games this season. Again, physical altercations cannot be tolerated.
You'll see in the RULES & REGULATIONS that one of dreamleague's tenets is a "safe haven" for organized basketball. We are very protective of this feature. We have reminded our refs this week that anything remotely considered taunting will be met with a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct. If that means you have to shut your mouth the entire game to avoid a technical, then so be it.
And don't forget that we have the NBA's equivalent Rasheed Wallace rule as well, in which in the NBA, you are automatically suspended on your 16th technical foul and each subsequent technical.
In dreamleague, you are automatically suspended 1 game on your 4th accrued technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Also, as far as suspensions go, if you don't like what we have deliberated on as fair punishment in trying to protect our "safe haven" clause, then by no means are we forcing you to play in dreamleague. There are lawless places such as the playground where you have the right to say whatever you want and perhaps are bound only by the laws of our society. Dreamleague is not one of these places.
We are all making sacrifices to play a good game of basketball. If you ruin any part of that outside the confines of sportsmanship, please go elsewhere to satisfy whatever it is you need to satisfy.
Meanwhile, the REC-Oakland Spartans are currently under investigation for excessive taunting as well.