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Brawlers' punishment should be modeled on soccer

In determining suspensions for Friday's brawl, David Stern should consider how European soccer dishes out punishment for player-fan conflicts.

Updated: November 22, 2004, 6:12 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

As commissioner of the world's second most popular team sport, David Stern makes frequent references to No. 1.

"Which is soccer," Stern says.

Which is why you can safely assume that Le Commish, as part of his punishment deliberations this weekend, has studied and considered how player-fan unrest has been handled in world football.

Which is why Indiana and Detroit should be worried. Very worried.

Later Sunday, or at the latest Monday, official word is expected from the league ...

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