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NBA players' union head placed on leave

Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- NBA players' union head Billy Hunter is on indefinite leave of absence as the National Basketball Players Association reorganizes, the group said Friday.

Hunter had led the NBA players' union since 1996 but recently was the subject of an investigation. The report showed no evidence of illegal activities by Hunter but there were findings of questionable behavior.

"In light of the detailed findings contained in the recent report ... the ongoing criminal and civil investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and the need to ensure an orderly and appropriate meeting of the player representatives at All Star Weekend, the players have requested that the Executive Committee protect the players' interest and move the Union forward," the association said in a statement.

NBPA Deputy General Counsel Ron Klempner was appointed acting executive director.

The union's Executive Committee formed an Interim Executive Committee and an Advisory Committee, which both voted unanimously to place Hunter on leave, the NBPA release stated.

"Unfortunately, it appears that union management has lost sight of the NBPA's only task, to serve the best interests of their membership. This is the reason I called for a review almost a year ago," union President Derek Fisher said, citing the review of Hunter's leadership he called for in the wake of the lockout before last season.

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