The Clippers placed Travis Walton, an assistant coach with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, on administrative leave Friday pending further investigation into several allegations against Walton while he was at Michigan State.
The Clippers made their decision in regard to Walton, who was hired to be an assistant on the G League development team, after ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported he had been accused of sexual assault as well as misdemeanor assault and battery.
The report said that Walton, who played at Michigan State, was an undergraduate student assistant coach under Spartans coach Tom Izzo when Walton was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.
Walton reportedly pleaded not guilty on Feb. 23, 2010, and he had his case dismissed. Walton instead pleaded guilty to a civil infraction for littering.
Walton’s name surfaced again, the “Outside the Lines” report said, when there was an allegation against him and two Michigan State basketball players for sexual assault involving a female Michigan State student.
The woman and her parents told the university’s athletic department that she had been raped off campus by Walton and the two players, although they did not report it to police, according to “Outside the Lines.”
The “Outside the Lines” report said Walton was eventually fired after that incident.
“I don’t recall anything from that,” Walton told “Outside the Lines.”
Players, referees to address relationship
After much complaining from NBA players about referees and referees about the players, the league announced Friday a five-pronged initiative designed to address the on-court working relationship between the two groups.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who saw his team get four technical fouls Monday night, when he and assistant coach Mike Woodson both were ejected against Minnesota, thinks “communication is the key” to progress between the players, coaches and officials.
“I don’t know if I’m in agreement of having dialogue, to be honest,” Rivers said. “Listen, I think communication is the key. So I guess you can have a dialogue, but at the end of the day, I have not changed my position on this for 15 years, for as long as I’ve been coaching.
“Refereeing is a hard job. There’s going to be calls missed, not made, every game. And, no matter what we do, that’s never going to change… I’ve never been one to want to get the calls right, because I think that’s impossible. I’m one that has always wanted to get the communication right.
“It’s a hard job, but they sign up for it and they have to understand that there are guys fighting for their lives as players and as coaches and there is going to be emotion. To be able to deal with that is very important.”