Long Island announced in a Monday afternoon release that four men’s basketball players involved in an on-campus brawl have been reinstated and will be suspended for the first two Northeast Conference games of the 2012-13 season.
The team’s top three scorers, seniors Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner, along with redshirt sophomore Troy Joseph will also be placed on probation by the school, all stemming from a Sept. 15 brawl with members of the school’s track and field team. All four were charged with third-degree assault.
“The University has concluded its investigation and has heard the appeals of the four members of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. After a thorough review, the University has lifted the suspensions of the student-athletes and has placed them on probation,” LIU Athletic Director John Suarez said in a release. “In addition to sanctions implemented by the University, the Athletic Department has suspended the four players for the first two Northeast Conference games of the 2012-13 season.”
This is good new for the Blackbirds and coach Jack Perri, who returns a bulk of their squad from last season’s NEC tournament championship team that lost to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
As a whole, LIU gets back 46.9 points and 19.3 rebounds from it’s 2011-12 team in Garner, Boyd and Olasewere. Joseph has yet to play at LIU after a redshirt season as a true freshman and missing last season due to injury.
Kudos to the LIU administration for making the suspension count by suspending the players for the first two games of the conference season. LIU opens the regular season against Morehead State in the brand-new Barclays Center in town and at Lafayette on the road, but conference games in a one-bid league like the NEC matter more, so these suspensions could greatly affect the season for LIU if those two games are losses.
The NEC has yet to announce the conference schedule.
David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.
Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.
Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.
“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”
While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.