Wittman suspended in run-in with coach

January 10, 1995|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

Spirit veteran Tim Wittman has been suspended indefinitely for what coach Dave MacWilliams called "conduct detrimental to the team."

MacWilliams indicated that Wittman probably will miss at least two weeks, including games Friday at Buffalo, Jan. 21 at home against Wichita and Jan. 22 at Dayton, for "insubordinate behavior on the bench during the game."

Wittman, the Spirit's No. 3 scorer with 63 points, left the team with six minutes remaining in the first half of Sunday's 25-21 loss to the Dynamo in Dayton and did not return. MacWilliams declined to fully explain the incident.

"That's a private matter between Timmy and the team," MacWilliams said after Wittman was informed of his suspension when the team returned from Dayton yesterday. "Something happened on the field and I saw it one way and he saw it another. He didn't appreciate the way I handled it and we had a blowup on the bench.

"Timmy needs some time to think about what transpired and whether he still wants to play for the Spirit. It would be safe to say that we will take some time to think things through, too."

Wittman said he and MacWilliams had "a confrontation on the bench," but he declined to say what it was about.

"He told me to sit, so I did," Wittman said. "When I asked if I was going to play any more and he said no, I said I was going to the locker room.

"I'm paid to play and help the team win. For me to sit on the bench makes no sense. We were up by a point at the time and I wasn't going to do any good sitting."

When told that MacWilliams said he would have to decide whether he wants to play again for the Spirit, the Baltimore-born Wittman said with a snort: "He's got to be kidding. I don't quit things. I wanted to play right after the incident. I'll be more help than hindrance to this team."

This was not the first time Wittman has incurred MacWilliams' displeasure. He got into a fight with the Harrisburg Heat's Danny Kelly on Dec. 17 and was ejected, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension by the National Professional Soccer League.

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