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Tennis great Connors arrested and released

  • Story Highlights
  • Tennis star Jimmy Connors arrested after row at basketball game, report AP
  • Connors, 56, was held outside the campus arena in Santa Barbara, California
  • A Santa Barbara County jail employee said Connors was booked and released
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(CNN) -- Tennis great Jimmy Connors was arrested outside the campus arena where UC Santa Barbara and top-ranked North Carolina were playing a basketball game.

Connors was reportedly arrested as he attended a college basketball game in California.

The eight-time Grand Slam champion was taken into custody on Friday night after refusing to comply with an order to leave an area near the entrance of the Thunderdome following a confrontation, police said in a statement.

A Santa Barbara County jail employee said Connors was booked and released but did not have details. Connors could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday.

Connors is one of the all-time greats of the sport, having been ranked as world number one for five consecutive years in the 1970s. He was also renowned for his fiery temperament on the court as he battled his way to 109 career titles.

The 56-year-old returned to the mainstream tennis fold by acting as coach to American number one Andy Roddick, but their two-year relationship ended earlier this year.

Connors, who lives in the Santa Barbara area, is an occasional visitor to watch his local college basketball team who were beaten 84-67 by the top-ranked North Carolina.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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