This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 21, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY HOST:  In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, is there an epidemic of rape and serious crime in the National Basketball Association (search)?  With us now, Jeff Benedict, author of the brand-new book "Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime." And we ought to tell you guys that the NBA does not like Mr. Benedict at all, and they are feeding stuff about him to gossip columnists, right?


O'REILLY:  Yes.  How come they don't like you?

BENEDICT:  Well, this book, Bill, says that 40 percent of the players in the NBA have a police record for a serious crime.  And it's a statistic that's based on over 12,000 pages of police reports and court documents and was the result of FOIA requests, public documents requests filed with 94 police departments, 30 courthouses, and 12 district attorneys' offices.

O'REILLY:  But the 40 percent is a bit misleading because it isn't -- you didn't examine all of the NBA players.  You examined how many?

BENEDICT:  I sent records requests on 417 American-born players and got records back on 177 of those.

O'REILLY:  All right, so it's 40 percent of the 177.


O'REILLY:  OK.  So the other guys possibly are solid citizens.  You're just extrapolating that data and saying you think this is what it is across the board?

BENEDICT:  Well, Bill, in addition to that, I found 30 more NBA players who had police records that I didn't get a police document on but I got media clips on, "New York Times," "USA Today," players that are well-known.

O'REILLY:  OK.  So in your opinion, your thesis is that the amount of crime being committed by NBA basketball players is far above the national average for regular folks?

BENEDICT:  You know, I'd never say that, Bill, because I think that the NBA would love to get me in that argument.  And that's a bad argument.  That's not -- the point here is that the NBA has got about 100 players in one season that had a police record, and these are serious offenses, sexual assaults, domestic violence, gun cases.  And the NBA does very little to stop it, and that these players often get away with ridiculous sentences if sentenced at all.  And I think that's the real story here.

O'REILLY:  Well, we saw the guy over shotgunning his chauffeur who went to trial.  And it was a mixed jury and now he is going to be retried.  It is a hard story because it's a racial story, too.  That's why it's really a tough story because most of these guys are black.

BENEDICT:  Well, the majority of the players in the NBA are black.  And there is no question that the majority of the players in my sample with a criminal record are black as well.  But the flip side of that coin, Bill, is that the majority of the players in the league that don't have a record are also black.  I don't think it tells us much.  If you went out and did this research on the National Hockey League, you are going to find that the guys with criminal records are white guys.  It doesn't...

O'REILLY:  But do you think the National Hockey League (search) has the kind of problems with arrests and violence that the NBA does?

BENEDICT:  I don't know because I haven't looked at it.  And I would be reluctant because I will tell you if you had asked me six years ago, do you think the NBA has a crime rate of 40 percent, I had just finished doing that on the NFL, and it was 20 percent in the NFL, I would have said no, not a chance.  You don't know until you do the records.  The reason this is so powerful is because you can't deny what's in these documents.

O'REILLY:  What is the weakness of the National Basketball Association that they can't control this?

BENEDICT:  I'm not sure they want to.

O'REILLY:  Really?

BENEDICT:  Well, if you take a guy like Glenn Robinson (search), he's one of the top players in the league, perennial all-star.  He gets...

O'REILLY:  What team does he play for?

BENEDICT:  He's on the Philadelphia 76ers (search) alongside Allen Iverson (search).  Here is a guy who gets charged with brutally beating a woman and the case also involves a handgun.  He gets charged and the NBA takes its hands-off approach.  We don't get involved in active cases.  We act after cases are resolved.

O'REILLY:  Did he get suspended, the Sixers suspend him?

BENEDICT:  The Sixers didn't suspend him but this guy goes to a jury trial and gets convicted.  OK?  What does the NBA give him?  A three-game suspension.

O'REILLY:  Three games.

BENEDICT:  Three games.

O'REILLY:  What was he convicted of?

BENEDICT:  Two counts of assault against a woman.  This is a brutal assault.  It wasn't slapping someone.  This woman was beaten very severely.

O'REILLY:  So the message the NBA sends to these players is, we don't care.

BENEDICT:  I don't think they do.  I mean, Jason Richardson, the slam dunk champion, same thing as Glenn Robinson, same type of crime, woman, violent case, goes to a jury, three-game suspension.  I think that says a lot about their attitude.

O'REILLY:  I'll say.  All right, Mr. Benedict. The book is "Out of Bounds." And he backs up all of these stats.  And we appreciate you coming on in.  Very interesting.

BENEDICT:  Thank you.

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