Wellington Saints owner Nick Mills Snr has been served with a $1000 fine for breaching NBL rules when it was deemed he brought the league and the game of basketball into disrepute earlier this week after publicising negative statements about referees.
The Wellington Saints were issued with a show cause notice on Monday and given 48 hours to respond.
Mr Mills labelled the referees as “embarrassing” and “not up to the standard.”
The breach carries a maximum fine of $2,000.
Part of the fine, $750, has been fully suspended for the next 12 months. Should Mills make any further breaches of the rules the suspended amount will be immediately invoked on top of any future charges.
“Mr Mills made negative statements on social media about the referees in last week’s game between the Saints and Jets, the statements were in clear breach of the rules that govern the competition, which all the teams sign off on and agree to,” explained Sal’s NBL GM Justin Nelson.
“Additionally, upon receiving a show cause notice on Monday, Mr Mills decided not to withdraw or remove the comments immediately and in fact continued to publically engage on the subject.
“All the coaches and team staff know there is a very clear and accessible process in place for seeking feedback on decisions made in games, but unfortunately Mr Mills decided to promote his own opinions via social media and in doing so has breached rules that everyone in the league is well aware of.
“I would expect and hope that Mr Mills is more mindful of his comments in the future. The NBL transferred to new management at the start of this season and we are seeing a very real and creditable rise in the way our league is being covered by the media and the support being generated amongst fans. The Sal’s NBL is on the rise and in order to continue going forward everyone needs to abide by the rules. There is a very clear line that has been drawn and all teams have been made aware of this since before the start of season.
“We have been consistent in how we apply the rules – this year we have dealt with six breaches of the rules across five different teams. The rules are transparent and fully agreed to by the teams, my job is to implement the rules fairly and equally across all teams.
“The referees form a very important part of every game and making negative comments about them publicly is not only against the rules, it also fails to help us recruit and promote future referees. It is an area of our game that we continue to support and develop. Talking about referees negatively does not serve any useful purpose.”
For any further comment please contact the Sal’s NBL on 027 202 0070 or at firstname.lastname@example.org