Harrison put on probation for role in Palace brawl

Updated: September 30, 2005, 7:02 PM ET
Associated Press

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. -- David Harrison of the Indiana Pacers was sentenced to a year of probation Friday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history.

David Harrison
Indiana Pacers
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He also must perform community service, undergo anger management counseling and pay a $250 fine.

Teammates Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson entered the same pleas on the same charge last week and were sentenced to a year of probation, community service, anger management counseling and a $250 fine.

A fifth player, Anthony Johnson, pleaded no contest this month to a count of misdemeanor assault and battery and is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 7. Prosecutors have recommended that Johnson perform community service and serve probation, along with paying fines and court costs.

A no-contest plea in Michigan is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

Several fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills also were charged in the Nov. 19 brawl that started after Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace shoved Artest following a hard foul.

After the players were separated, Artest was doused with a beverage and rushed into the stands after the man he thought had thrown the drink. Some teammates joined him in the stands and clashed with fans on the court.

Artest was suspended for the rest of the season, Jackson for 30 games, O'Neal for 25 and Johnson for five. The league did not suspend Harrison. An arbitrator reduced O'Neal's suspension to 15 games, and it was upheld in federal court.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press