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Some money from brawl fines will stay in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers are donating $2.4 million
to 11 local charities, money that comes mostly from fines levied
against five players for their roles in the November brawl with
Detroit Pistons fans.


The Pacers asked the NBA for permission to give the money to charities in Indianapolis, and team chief executive Donnie Walsh said the
request was granted. Normally, the fines are sent to the NBA, which donates the money to charity. In this case, the NBA allowed a percentage to come back to the Pacers to give to local charities.

Walsh called the mayhem in Auburn Hills,
Mich., "a low point for the owners, this franchise and the
players."

"We came out of it determined to make something positive happen
for this team and this community," Walsh said Thursday. "We think
this does that."

The NBA fined Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal,
Anthony Johnson and Reggie Miller for their roles in the Nov. 19
fighting. All five attended a news conference to announce the
donations, but none took questions.

Artest, whom NBA commissioner David Stern suspended for the
season after the brawl, smiled as he greeted representatives of the
agencies and shook hands with some children. The other four players
also were suspended.

The Pacers also donated an unspecified sum to charity. Of the
team's donation, $1 million will go to the United Way of Central
Indiana. The other charities include Riley Hospital for Children,
St. Vincent Children's Hospital, Special Olympics Indiana, Indiana
Black Expo and the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.