Basketball / Law and Order / Police Quiz Players Over Club Brawl

Maccabi Tel Aviv's D'or Fischer emerged from the hospital yesterday covered with bandages hiding the scars caused by unknown assailants from early Monday morning.

Police yesterday quizzed Fischer's teammates Lior Eliyahu and Tre Simmons, who were also with him at a Tel Aviv club on the night of the incident. Eliyahu claims to have left before an argument broke out between Fischer, Simmons and another group of people at the club.

Closed-circuit television from the club show bouncers forcibly removed both parties involved in the brawl from the nightclub, but the footage is too grainy to positively identify any of the assailants. Police are still uncertain as to what happened outside the club or who assaulted Fischer.

Meanwhile, Fischer told the press he was uncertain how things escalated at the club and that he was jumped by four or five people on his way home. Simmons claimed he brought Fischer to hospital after he found him hurt and laying unconscious on the ground.

One line of investigation is that Fischer was attacked by somebody who had a vendetta against his father, who is currently visiting Fischer in Israel, a claim rejected by the center yesterday.

"It had nothing to do with my dad," Fischer said. "He had gone to eat something."

Maccabi Tel Aviv officials are furious at team players for breaking their pact concerning night outings that they agreed to sign. Still, Maccabi Chairman Shimon Mizrahi said yesterday that management was still waiting for more facts to emerge on what happened before they reach any conclusions.

Also yesterday, Maccabi sacked the head of the newly formed scouting department Danny Gut and announced it would close the department. Officials said the tense relationship between coach Pini Gershon and Gut was one of reasons they decided to let him go. Also, officials said the scouter's salary of $150,000 a year was too high.

"Gut wasn't involved in putting together Maccabi Tel Aviv's team this summer because of his involvement with the Russian Olympic team," an official said.