SBJ/September 30 - October 6, 2002/This Weeks Issue

Arbitrator finds for NBA in NBPA grievance

An arbitrator ruled last week that a plan by the NBA to withhold luxury tax and player escrow money from high-spending teams does not violate the collective-bargaining agreement, throwing out a grievance filed by the National Basketball Players Association.

Arbitrator Charles Renfrew ruled that because the players association had agreed in the collective-bargaining agreement how to distribute the money, there was no violation of the agreement.

"The NBA bargained for the right in the CBA to decide how the escrow and tax money would be used," said NBA general counsel Rick Buchanan in a statement. "We are pleased that the arbitrator enforced the terms of the agreement."

Players union officials could not immediately be reached for comment. NBPA chief Billy Hunter previously has told SportsBusiness Journal that the league's policy was "a double-tax" that had a chilling effect on the player market.

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