The WNBA punished so many players for their roles in this week's skirmish that the league is staggering the suspensions by alphabetical order.

"None of us can recall an incident like this," WNBA president Donna Orender said Thursday during a conference call.

The league suspended Detroit assistant coach Rick Mahorn and 10 players following the dustup between the Shock and the visiting Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday.

Shock forward Plenette Pierson was suspended for four games, the harshest penalty, for initiating and escalating the altercation.

"In our opinion, Plenette was the aggressor," said Renee Brown, the WNBA's chief of basketball operations.

Mahorn was suspended for two games, as were Shannon Bobbitt and Murriel Page of the Sparks, for the incident at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

"As a team, we're incensed that Rick Mahorn was suspended," Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. "He was trying to be a peacemaker and now he's being thrown under the bus."

Brown said Mahorn only started off as a peacemaker before he shoved Sparks star Lisa Leslie.

"Then he took it a step too far," she said. "When he pushed Lisa, it escalated the situation."