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Athletes don't always risk arrest

Updated: December 19, 2006, 5:12 PM ET
By Roger Cossack | ESPN.com

The law is clear: If you hit another person or spit in his face, you can be arrested for assault and battery. And if you really hurt someone, or if your spit is infected with a disease (think AIDS), you could go to prison.

The exception to this is equally clear: If you're an athlete and you hit, or spit at, another athlete during a football, basketball, baseball or hockey game, you have violated the law -- but you won't be arrested. Instead, your sports league will carry out any punishment, ...

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