Cover image for Out of bounds : inside the NBA's culture of rape, violence, and crime
Out of bounds : inside the NBA's culture of rape, violence, and crime
Benedict, Jeff.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvii, 254 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
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Material Type
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GV885.515.N37 B46 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV885.515.N37 B46 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime is a searing indictment of professional basketball players who live in a world where criminal laws and social norms don't exist, a world where they are given license to act above the law.

On the court, they dazzle us with their spectacular physical feats. They generate millions of dollars of revenue for the NBA and their teams. They inspire adulation. But underneath all the glitz, the money, and alley-oops is a seamy underbelly, a rash of lawlessness that is gripping the NBA.

Based on a first-of-its-kind investigation into the criminal histories of 177 NBA players from the 2001-2002 season, Out of Bounds shows that an alarming four out of every ten NBA players have a police record involving a serious crime. They are All-Stars and they are journeymen, involved in crimes ranging from armed robbery to domestic violence to gun possession to rape.

Out of Bounds takes a hard look at shocking cases, with graphic accounts of physical and sexual violence and other outrageous conduct by players. In all, more than 250 people are named, including many prominent NBA players. It exposes the environment and culture that encourages such criminal behavior. It also explains the unique challenges these cases pose for law-enforcement agencies and prosecutors. And Out of Bounds takes readers inside the hidden yet critically vital role that lawyers, agents, and fame play in insulating criminally accused players from accountability.

Author Jeff Benedict, an expert on athletes and crime, draws his conclusions from exhaustive research. In addition to his criminal-background checks, the author retrieved documents from law-enforcement agencies, courts, and private attorneys. He conducted more than 400 interviews with police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, players, agents, victims, witnesses, and coaches. What emerges is a disturbing and appalling picture of men who live above the law.

A seminal and important work, Out of Bounds will forever change how we look at the NBA and its stars' lives of excess and privilege.

Author Notes

Jeff Benedict has a B.A. in history from Eastrern Connecticut University, a M. A. in Political Science from Northeastern University and a J. D. from the New England College of Law. He started out as the director of research at the Center for Study of Sports and Society at Northeastern University where he conducted research on athletes and violence against women. He went on to publish a series of studies on the topic.

He has since written fifteen non-fiction books. Hi title's include: Puvblic Heroes, Private Felons: Athletes and Crimes Against Women, Athletes and Acquaintance Rape. Sage Series on Violence Against Women, Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL, Without Reservation: The Making of America's Most Powerful Indian Tribe and the World's Largest Casino, and My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian. In 2018 he released another bestseller entitled, Tiger Woods. He is also a writer for Sports Illustrated and a television and film producer.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In what is bound to be one of the more controversial sports books of this year, Benedict (Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL) applies his superb investigative reporting skills to the "dark, sinister side" of dozens of NBA players, painstakingly detailing criminal behavior ranging from drug abuse and domestic violence to armed robbery and rape. Using criminal background checks on nearly 200 NBA players; thousands of pages of trial transcripts and other legal documents; and more than 400 interviews with police officers, attorneys, players, victims and witnesses, Benedict tells hard stories, some well known and others discussed in depth for the first time here. Benedict also has no fear of naming some big names-including all-stars Patrick Ewing, Gary Payton, Glenn Robinson and Damon Stoudamire-to detail what he calls "the rash of lawlessness that is currently gripping the NBA." Benedict exposes how life as a touring player in the NBA offers vast amounts of free time and sex, encouraging criminal behavior and leading to a warped perception of women and their availability, as well as producing an environment "hot-wired" to produce incidents of sexual assault. He explains how the "see-no-evil approach" of NBA teams and their armies of lawyers fosters the perception in players that they are above the law, leading to outrageous behavior toward law-enforcement officials. As well, he explores the role that agents play in keeping criminally accused players from accountability. This is an excellent book that proves its point that life in the NBA is "out of control and absolutely demands close scrutiny." (June 14) Forecast: While Benedict avoids discussing the ongoing sexual assault charges against superstar Kobe Bryant, the massive media attention that case is getting should result in this book being widely discussed. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Out of Bounds Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime   Chapter One Gross Felony Besides money, life in the NBA offers vast amounts of two other things: free time and sex. A pro game takes two hours to play. Throw in a couple hours for preparation and travel, and that leaves a tremendous amount of discretionary time. Much of that time is spent on the road, where NBA players play a minimum of forty-one games a year and spend as many as a hundred nights in hotels. This lifestyle leads many players to spend great amounts of time at strip clubs, topless bars, and other such nightspots. And players' celebrity status attracts a steady stream of opportunities for consensual sex. It is an environment hot-wired to produce allegations of sexual assault. This environment also makes it nearly impossible for a rape victim to file a criminal complaint against an NBA player without being labeled a groupie or a gold digger. To overcome these labels, a rape victim's reputation must be clean enough to survive a relentless, well-financed effort to discredit her. Simply put, it takes a victim nothing short of Snow White to obtain a conviction in a sexual assault case against a celebrated athlete and emerge with a reputation still intact. Twenty-three-year-old Jenny Stevens said yes when the owner of A Nanny For You -- a Seattle-area nanny agency -- called on January 4, 2000, and asked if she would accept an interim position with a family in nearby Bellevue. A permanent nanny had already been placed with the family but couldn't begin work for about two weeks. Jenny had previously done short nanny stints with two other wealthy families. She needed the money. She had finished two years of study at a community college, completing a medical assistant training program, and was trying to save enough to return to school. The agency told Jenny that the husband in the family she would be working for was an NBA player on the Seattle Sonics named Ruben Patterson. The name meant nothing to Jenny. She didn't follow sports and had little interest in basketball. Despite growing up in Washington, she couldn't name one Sonics player. The next day, Jenny went to the Patterson home for an interview and to meet with Ruben's fiancée Shannon and their three children: a thirteen-year-old boy, a seven-year-old boy, and a five-month-old baby girl. The oldest boy was, in fact, Ruben's brother (Ruben is his legal guardian). The seven-year-old was Shannon's child from a previous relationship. Ruben was the biological father of the baby. Although they were close in age, Jenny and Shannon's situations were quite different. Jenny is white; Shannon is black. Jenny lived in a cramped apartment and hustled for part-time jobs. Shannon lived in a spacious home in a gated community in Seattle's wealthiest suburb and did not work. Jenny and her fiancé, who worked with at-risk youth, had just postponed their marriage plans. Shannon was about to marry a twenty-four-year-old celebrity making $1 million a year playing basketball. Yet none of this seemed to matter. Jenny and Shannon hit it off instantly, as if they had known each other for years. And Shannon observed that the children were immediately comfortable around Jenny, an experienced daycare worker who handled the Patterson baby with ease. After talking for two hours, Shannon decided against hiring the other nanny and offered the permanent position to Jenny. Her duties would include being home during the day with the baby; picking the boys up after school; doing homework with them; cooking dinner; delivering the boys to doctor's appointments and sports practices; and doing the grocery shopping and housecleaning. There would be some overnights, as well as opportunities to travel with the family. Her hours would range between forty and sixty per week. The pay was $12 per hour. Jenny accepted on the spot, without even meeting Ruben, who was away. When Jenny told her parents she had landed a full-time job, they were pleased. Her mother, a registered nurse, was glad her daughter was in a home with a baby. Mr. Stevens, a career social worker who investigated child-abuse cases for the state of Washington, was intrigued that his daughter would be employed by an NBA player. Mr. Stevens followed the Sonics and knew of Patterson's on-court reputation. An All-American out of the University of Cincinnati, Patterson had been drafted by the Lakers in 1998 before signing with the Sonics in 1999. In his first season in Seattle he had established himself as one of the league's premier defenders, considered one of the few players in the league capable of guarding Kobe Bryant one-on-one. He was nicknamed "Kobestopper." The scouting report on Patterson was that a "nasty attitude drives his game" and "he doesn't back down," both traits highly sought after by NBA coaches and fans. Jenny's father knew nothing of Patterson's off-the-court reputation or his background. Neither did Jenny. Before he became a wealthy NBA star, Patterson grew up in the Cleveland area, where he had experienced violence from all perspectives: as a victim, a witness, and a perpetrator. According to records on file at the Cleveland Police Department, Patterson was held up at gunpoint and robbed while walking on a Cleveland street during his senior year of high school. An incident report indicates that two men pulled up alongside him in a car, aimed a long-barrel handgun at him, and demanded that he remove his shoes and hand over the gold chain around his neck and the cash in his pockets. "Don't run or I'll shoot you in the back," one of the thieves threatened Patterson, who complied with their demands. The men then sped off. In 1997 Patterson witnessed a vicious domestic-violence incident in which his mother was attacked by an individual armed with scissors and shouting: "I'll get all you f---ers." Patterson stepped in and was able to disarm the suspect and the police were called. Patterson's mother declined to press charges. Also in 1997, police were called after Patterson's sister reported being assaulted by him. The report said that Patterson "punched victim in face with closed fist and when victim tried to defend herself, named suspect then grabbed victim by her throat and lifted victim up in the air and then dropped victim on top of her vehicle and she rolled off and fell to the ground." No arrest was made in this case, which was forwarded to prosecutors for review and dropped. Out of Bounds Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime . Copyright © by Jeff Benedict. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime by Jeff Benedict All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Introduction: Every Woman's Fearp. 1
Prologue: Under Arrestp. 13
Part I Sexual Liberties
1 Gross Felonyp. 29
2 The Problem Solversp. 45
3 Hush Moneyp. 63
4 Something Bad Happenedp. 81
5 No Strings Attachedp. 93
Part II Above the Law
6 Do You Know Who I Am?p. 111
7 Put Your Hands Upp. 123
8 Staying Powerp. 137
9 Criminals on Scholarshipp. 153
Part III Bad Heroes
10 Indulge Mep. 165
11 Sleeping with the Enemyp. 175
12 Pound of Fleshp. 193
13 See No Evilp. 209
Notesp. 222
Bibliographyp. 247