Friday , Feb , 29 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Larry Bird at Wits’ End with Off Court Problems

The Indiana Pacers’ public relations challenges only deepened this week amid a season of on-court and off-court failures.While the team stands 14 games under .500 and average home attendance has dropped to 3,000 below last season, the once-proud franchise also finds itself dealing with a flurry of off-court issues.Five incidents involving players since September have further eroded their public image, although only one resulted in a player being charged with a crime.

The latest occurred Wednesday, when Gary Bohanon, who was wanted in connection with a Tennessee murder case, was arrested after leaving the home of Pacers forward Shawne Williams.CEO Donnie Walsh and team President Larry Bird said Thursday that enough is enough. ‘We want our franchise to stand for the right things, and for 20 years we did stand for the right things,’ Walsh said. ‘And now as these things pop up and keep casting a bad light on us, it’s difficult for us to let the people know that our franchise doesn’t stand for any of this.’ Click here for more from Indianapolis Star.