NBA hires Byron Spruell as president of league operations

NEW YORK (AP) The NBA has hired Byron Spruell as president of league operations.

Spruell, who has spent the last 20 years at Deloitte LLP, will oversee the basketball operations and referee operations departments when he begins his new job on Aug. 1. He will be responsible for the management of rules changes, training and evaluation of referees, discipline and other important NBA operations that were formerly the responsibility of Rod Thorn.

Commissioner Adam Silver calls Spruell, most recently Deloitte's vice chairman, central region market leader, an ''innovator with strong strategic vision and a willingness to challenge the status quo,'' adding Thursday in a statement that he will ''be instrumental in helping to shape the future of our league.''

Spruell graduated from Notre Dame, where he was an offensive lineman and co-captain of the Fighting Irish's football team.