Opals coach, WNBL referee banned for insider information

University of Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss. Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

The Opals' Asia Cup coach Paul Goriss has been banned for a month and referee Simon Cosier axed for the rest of the WNBL season after the pair exchanged confidential footage of a rival club's training session.

Basketball Australia announced on Tuesday that University of Canberra Capitals coach Goriss and Cosier had been found guilty of engaging in prohibited conduct under Basketball Australia's framework for ethical behaviour and integrity.

BA claim Cosier supplied Goriss with confidential video clips of a Sydney Uni Flames' training session that had been used for referee education purposes.

The Capitals narrowly beat the Flames in the first round, while a round-two rematch was delayed due to a positive COVID-19 case.

Following a BA investigation the matter was referred to an independent panel, who found no actual advantage was obtained.

The panel still recommended bans for the pair, a BA statement claiming they were "misusing inside information and engaging in conduct that would impair public confidence in the integrity and good character of basketball and its participants".

Basketball Australia chairman John Carey labelled the incident "unprofessional and extremely disappointing".

"We will not tolerate this behaviour in basketball," he said.

But BA's lenience has stunned Sydney Uni Flames owner Paul Smith.

"This strikes at the heart of integrity in our league and basketball generally," he tweeted.

"The penalties, or more pointedly the lack thereof, raise more questions than answers today."

Flames coach Shane Heal also took to Twitter questioning why the Capitals had not been stripped of competition points.

Goriss coached the Opals to an impressive bronze at the recent Asia Cup and has been an assistant to head coach Sandy Brondello in recent years.

Entering a sixth season in Canberra, Goriss is a two-time WNBL title-winner who spent more than 10 years coaching the AIS men's program and BA's women's centre of excellence squad before that.

He will miss five WNBL games and isn't allowed to undertake any Opals coaching work until January 20, with Capitals assistant Kennedy Kereama to lead the side until he returns with two months of the regular season to play.

"The UC Capitals take issues of sport integrity with great seriousness and acknowledge Goriss' actions, for which he has accepted responsibility for," a Capitals statement read.

"Goriss has demonstrated exemplary character on and off the court over many years and the club is supportive of Goriss now and into the future."

The pair have 14 days to appeal the decision.