The Association of Tennis Professionals board of directors voted on Thursday not to remove Justin Gimelstob from that governing body, according to two people in tennis with knowledge of the process.
The vote was called a day after Gimelstob pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony battery with serious bodily injury following an altercation in Los Angeles on Halloween night. The breakdown of the vote is not known, but a unanimous decision of the seven-member board is required to remove one of its members.
Gimelstob, who was first elected to the ATP board in 2008, also serves as a coach for John Isner, the highest-ranked American man, and is a frequent contributor to the Tennis Channel.
Although Gimelstob avoided ouster by the board of directors, his position on the panel remains in doubt because the 10-member player council can still choose to vote him off with a simple majority. Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 men’s player, is the president of the player council, a group that recently demonstrated a willingness to remove board members.
In November, the council voted Roger Rasheed, a coach and former player, off the board after he voted in favor of a modest one-year pay increase from ATP tournaments, which infuriated many players. Those players preferred a more significant pay increase over a longer period of time.
The Tennis Channel said it had granted Gimelstob time off during the court proceedings but has given no other public indications about Gimelstob’s future at the network. Isner, who is also a member of the player council, has expressed support for Gimelstob and said he, too, would wait for all the facts to emerge.
Gimelstob, 41, was arrested on Nov. 21 after he was accused of beating an acquaintance, Ronald Kaplan, during trick or treating. The next scheduled court date for the case is Jan. 31.
A former friend of Gimelstob’s, Kaplan told the police that Gimelstob jumped him from behind, without warning, on the street while Kaplan was trick-or-treating with his wife and 2-year-old child. Kaplan told the police that Gimelstob hit him at least 50 times.
Gimelstob acknowledged that there was a confrontation that night, but said Kaplan initiated the physical altercation and provoked him with insults about Gimelstob’s father, who had died the week before the episode.