WNBA rule book too loose

So Cappie Pondexter got fined for the flagrant foul in Saturday’s Liberty-Mercury game. Ketia Swanier was suspended one game for coming off the bench. I haven’t talked to anyone today who can make any sense of that.

Mechelle Voepel has a good summary and outlook on the situation:

But if you want my two cents, here it is: I thought the WNBA would not have been wrong to give Pondexter a one-game suspension. However, I’m also not surprised that didn’t happen. I think the WNBA is generally rather reticent to really discipline its star players. There aren’t that many of them, and the league obviously tries to avoid negative publicity toward them at all costs.

In my view, Pondexter’s foul on Penny Taylor going to the basket was just too reckless and the kind of thing I don’t like. Some may suggest that Pondexter was only going for the ball and just “accidentally” hit Taylor in the neck/head. I can’t quite buy that. Now, do I think Pondexter intentionally set out to hurt Taylor? No, I don’t. But by the same token, she really didn’t seem to care whether she hurt her or not. And that was disappointing to see.

Then Pondexter’s reaction to Diana Taurasi, who was running in to check on Taylor and seemed focused only on her teammate, to me was another indication that Pondexter really did sense she’d stepped over a line. Pondexter put an elbow up to shove Taurasi away because she apparently was expecting Taurasi to go after her. But why would she be worried about that if she didn’t think DT had a good reason to confront her? Bit of a guilty conscience on Pondexter’s part? I thought Taurasi seemed pretty surprised that Pondexter had done any of this.

I agree with the first paragraph in particular. On the one hand, it’s chickensh*tty that the WNBA doesn’t have Pondexter’s fine listed on its front page. But on the other hand, maybe they’re afraid to upset the delicate acceptance of the league with negative publicity. As usual, I can see both sides.

Maybe the NCAA rule book isn’t so bad. Sure it’s hundreds of pages and goes over every last living detail of any possible situation. But everyone is treated fairly and players and coaches know where they stand.