3 Pacers Get Probation for NBA Brawl

Indiana Pacers (search) players Ron Artest (search), Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson were sentenced Friday to a year of probation, community service and a fine for their roles in one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history.

They pleaded no contest earlier in the day to misdemeanor assault charges stemming from the Nov. 19 melee at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

District Court Judge Julie Nicholson ordered each to for sentencing.

A fourth player, David Harrison, faces an Oct. 3 hearing. A fifth, Anthony Johnson, pleaded no contest last week to a count of misdemeanor assault and battery and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 7.

Prosecutors have recommended that Johnson perform community service and serve probation, along with paying fines and court costs.

All the players were charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, which carries a maximum sentence of about three months in jail and a $500 fine. But Oakland County prosecutors have said community service makes more sense than jail time.

Several fans also were charged in the brawl that started after Detroit Pistons (search) center Ben Wallace shoved Artest following a hard foul.

After the players were separated, Artest was doused with a beverage and rushed into the stands after the man he thought had thrown the drink. Some of his teammates joined him in the stands and clashed with fans on the court.

Artest was suspended for the rest of the season, Jackson for 30 games, O'Neal for 25 and Johnson for five. The league did not suspend Harrison.

O'Neal's suspension was later reduced to 15 games by an arbitrator and upheld in federal court.