August 14, 1996
GREG SHARKO: ATP Tour supervisor, Mark Darby will comment on the incident which occurred tonight.
MARK DARBY: Well, let me start off by saying what transpired tonight was that at the end of the fifth game of the second set, Mr. Agassi violated the code by hitting a ball out of the enclosure in a violent way and received a code violation in accordance with the rules of the Tour and as the code was being announced, he made a statement to the chair umpire which also violated the code of conduct and according with our procedures, the chair called me out on court; told me what was said and I made the decision to default him based on the standard of conduct that is in our rules and regulations.
Q. He seemed to have a problem with the fact that he is thinking, warning, point penalty, default and he thinks you went from warning to default without calling that point penalty and now -- is he like not knowing the rules exactly? I mean, is that like kind of up to your discretion?
MARK DARBY: Well, the code of conduct states that there is a point penalty system which goes warning, point, default for violations of the code. In addition, it states that if a player violates the code, the point penalty system can be skipped and gone straight to default.
Q. Why did you decide to do that on this occasion? He said to the umpire "fuck you," and he said that 100 times before. Nothing has happened - most he has gotten is a point penalty. Why did you choose tonight to default him for saying that if that is what he said?
MARK DARBY: Well, in my experience, this is the first time that - when I have been at a tournament - a player has said that statement directly at the chair, so that statement goes over the limit, goes over the edge as far as the code is concerned. It is one that can goes straight into default.
Q. When Andre was in here he said in his opinion there was one outburst. He hit the ball and then he said those comments was all one outburst and he thought would all garner him a warning. And can you just respond to that? That is what he told us. What would be your response to that? I mean, you are looking this as multiple outbursts or --
MARK DARBY: Well, I am repeating myself, but a violation of the code by -- when the ball was hit out of the enclosure, and another violation of the code when he made his comment to the chair umpire.
Q. He insinuated to us that everyone agreed with him and that you were standing out there alone in the field on this decision tonight and that you would not retract it. Is that an accurate portrayal of what has been going on here behind closed doors tonight. Has your decision been a popular one or unpopular or --
MARK DARBY: I don't know -- this is not necessarily a popularity contest.
Q. Do you regret the decision? Do you think it was right?
MARK DARBY: I feel comfortable with what happened. We have a standard and so we have to stand by it and apply it when necessary.
Q. Can you describe the appeal process that took place once you left the court?
MARK DARBY: Well, there isn't at-- the appeal process is the on-site supervisor, so beyond that, there isn't an appeal as far as someone else reversing the decision; it is the on-site supervisor's decision to make --
Q. I heard there was a call to Mark Miles --
MARK DARBY: Well, sure, Mark was notified. I called him and notified him, but, you know, I think that is out of the CEO knowing what is happening at the tournaments.
Q. He is was in agreement with the --
MARK DARBY: Well, he doesn't have the ability to reverse it. He was in agreement.
Q. Was there pressure on to you reverse the decision because of Andre Agassi, who he is; they want him to be at this tournament; did you feel like people were asking you to do that? Were you asked?
MARK DARBY: There were -- yeah, there were people who wanted, you know, obviously weren't happy with the decision and I can understand that.
Q. I am not disputing that this is the first time and incident happened when you have been at a tournament, but I have been to plenty of tournaments where Andre has said that and it has been seemingly overlooked. Do you think that it is a case where the rules are not always enforced, all the time that gives these guys the wrong impression; that might have been another supervisor or something, that there needs to be possibly more stringent control enforcing the rules? I mean, besides seeing him doing it, and he seems to like either get a warning or nothing I mean, he did it last week in an Alex O'Brien match and Alex O'Brien said if it was anyone else, he would have been defaulted? It may be not with you, but I mean, is that a problem possibly in the supervisory role that everybody is not enforcing it the same way?
MARK DARBY: Well, I mean, that is tough since I am working one tournament; other guys are working other tournaments, so, you know, difficult for me to say, yeah, there is a problem or no there is not a problem without being at all the tournaments and seeing all the incidents, each -- I mean, each code and how players react to it, I think happens on the court -- things happen differently. Some are a little different than others, so it is -- I guess -- without being at all the tournaments and seeing one person seeing everything happen, it would be difficult for me to say it is inconsistent or no, it is not.
Q. Can you tell us when a decision will be made on how much Andre Agassi will be fined?
MARK DARBY: Probably not accurately, but I will do my best to do something, you know, possibly by tomorrow. I would think by tomorrow.
Q. Have you defaulted other players or is this the first time for you?
MARK DARBY: I have been at tournaments where other players were defaulted, but not necessarily by me walking on the court and making the call.
Q. Were you Tour supervisor last week at Cincinnati?
MARK DARBY: No, I was not.
Q. We heard reports that Agassi was not on his best behavior last week. Had that filtered down to the supervisors of the Tour?
MARK DARBY: Well, we communicate with one another, so, I mean, we want to be in touch with what is happening with the Tour, so when things happen, we know about it; whether it is with all the players - particularly if there is violations of the code.
Q. Did you have any hesitation about -- in mind who Agassi is before you took the action that you took?
MARK DARBY: I didn't. We have got a line that -- of conduct and when it is crossed, then I have to issue the default when it happens, when that line is crossed, so I am familiar with this line, so I --
Q. Are you saying that line wouldn't change at all given his behavior in the Olympics and in Cincinnati; that didn't affect at all where the line was drawn?
MARK DARBY: No. No, I mean, the, you know, the line is the line in each tournament and each match has got to be treated, you know, with the same judgment, so that is what we try to do.
Q. Did go out there with the idea to default him? You talked about he crossed that line once by hitting it out of the enclosure; two by saying something to the chair. He then said something to you to default him or did you go out there with the idea? You said the two things that occurred before you came out on the court, so did you go out there with the idea to default him or did he then say anything, a third thing that made him get the default?
MARK DARBY: No, I went out there because the chair umpire called me out and he told me what had happened. I could hear -- I saw what happened and I could hear what happened, so -- but whenever I go out on court, you know, I am listening to what the chair tells me happened, so that --
Q. Nothing else that happened once you started to go out on the court that added to --
MARK DARBY: No.
GREG SHARKO: Okay, thank everyone.
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