Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor will not be allowed to practice or play for his team while the NBA investigates his arrest Thursday on a domestic violence charge in Michigan.
“We have informed Jeffery Taylor that effective immediately he will not be participating in any team-related activities while the NBA is investigating his conduct in this matter,” the Hornets announced late Friday afternoon.
“As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution. We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position.”
Shortly after the Hornets’ announcement, the NBA issued the following statement: “We support the Charlotte Hornets’ decision to separate Jeffery Taylor from the team during the investigation.”
New players association executive director Michele Roberts released a statement Friday night concerning Taylor’s status:
“Jeffrey and his lawyers have determined that it is in Jeffrey's best interest to focus on resolving this matter as expeditiously as possible before returning to the team. We accept and support that decision.
“However, our expectation is that no disciplinary action should or would be taken by the team or the league going forward, prior to objective deliberation and full consideration of the facts in this matter.”
A knowledgeable source told the Observer Friday that the Hornets intend to pay Taylor while the NBA investigates the matter.
The Hornets are scheduled to start training camp Tuesday morning at UNC Asheville. Monday is the team’s annual media day at Time Warner Cable Arena.
A criminal complaint filed in a Michigan courthouse revealed new details in a domestic assault case against Taylor, 25.
The complaint, filed in East Lansing District Court, charges Taylor with misdemeanor domestic assault against his girlfriend at a Marriott hotel early Thursday, and assault and battery against a male hotel employee. Police also charged Taylor with malicious destruction of a building causing damage of $200 to $1,000, related to damage at the East Lansing Marriott at University Place hotel.
The complaint provides no further details of the assault charges or how the hotel was damaged.
Taylor, who faces up to a year in jail, pleaded not guilty during his court arraignment Thursday and was released from Ingham County jail on $5,000 bond.
Ingham County prosecutor Stuart Dunnings announced Friday that Taylor will have a pre-trial court date Oct. 8 in East Lansing District Court.
East Lansing police responded to a report of domestic assault at the Marriott at about 1 a.m. Thursday. A police spokesman declined to disclose more details about the case, saying it was an ongoing criminal matter.
Taylor has no prior criminal record, a check of court records shows.
The hotel worker cited in the complaint declined comment on Friday. Taylor’s girlfriend and her parents couldn’t be reached.
The Hornets issued a brief statement concerning Taylor’s domestic-assault arrest about 7:45 p.m. Thursday that included, “This is a matter that we take very seriously.”
Taylor’s domestic-assault arrest comes as pro sports teams, their fans and advertisers are wrapped up in a national discussion about athletes accused of domestic violence.