Las Vegas Aces face brutal crackdown from WNBA as investigation ramps up

Brian in Mesa

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May 13, 2002
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The Dark Side

The WNBA could come down hard on the Las Vegas Aces and levy its strongest punishment yet on a franchise under investigation for a third time in two years, according to a report.

After the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) announced $100,000 payments for every player on the team earlier this season, the WNBA decided to look into whether the Aces front office colluded with the LVCVA to break salary cap rules.

Now, the publication IX, citing multiple league sources, writes that the WNBA has hired an outside law firm to lead that probe. The IX adds that this move is widely seen in the league as a sign of intent to seriously crack down on Las Vegas after rivals believed the franchise got off easy when it allegedly circumvented the salary cap on a separate occasion and mistreated ex-player Dearica Hamby for becoming pregnant.

The WNBA suspended head coach Becky Hammon for two games and docked the Aces a future first-round pick over the prior allegations - a punishment some organizations deemed insufficient. If the team is found guilty of wrongdoing in the new investigation, a much harsher set of sanctions could follow.