After two players were arrested last weekend on charges of stealing from parked vehicles, Montana State announced the punishments for those two players on Friday.
Junior forward Tre Johnson has been dismissed from the program by head coach Brad Huse, and fellow junior forward Jeff Budnich will remain on the team but faces multiple penalties.
According to the Associated Press, Budnich faces a reduction in his scholarship, a three-game suspension and community service.
The two players have pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal trespass to a vehicle and two counts theft, but according to court records both acknowledged the acts to the arresting officers.
According to charging documents:
Officers were dispatched to the area near Cooper Park shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday for reports of two men shining flashlights into parked vehicles.
Officers contacted Budinich and Johnson. When asked to empty his pockets, Johnson pulled out a GPS he said didn’t belong to him. He told officers he took the GPS from a truck parked on Sixth Avenue.
Budinich was wearing a backpack he admitted he stole from a vehicle parked on the 1000 block of West Koch Street. He also said they took a camera from the same vehicle.
Johnson started 20 of 26 games last season for the Bobcats, averaging 9.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while Budnich averaged 4.5 points in 25 games played.
With Mohamed Fall being ruled to be out of eligibility by the NCAA to go along with other personnel issues, the Bobcats really couldn’t afford to lose anyone else.
For Brad Huse, he has to be wondering what else could possibly happen with this group of players. Last season, wing man Jamie Stewart was academically ineligible after the first semester. Antonio Biglow had academic issues crop up at his junior college, and missed all of last season. Xavier Blount was injured in a bar fight. Shawn Reid left the team after the season.
Montana State finished last season 12-17, dropping nine of their last ten games, and if Huse’s team is to improve on that this season the personnel problems of last season cannot carry over into 2012-13.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.
Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.
How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?
Well, it seems.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.
And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.
“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”
He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.
But credit the Cardinals for responding.
Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.
Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.
Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.
According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.
Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.