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Niagara forward no longer on the team amid legal issues

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Niagara forward Dominique Reid is no longer with the basketball program, according to a release from the school. The MAAC all-rookie team selection is dealing with some legal issues over the last year.

“Dominique Reid will not be attending Niagara University during the 2015-16 academic year,” Niagara Athletics Director Simon Gray said in the release. “Consistent with our commitment to student privacy obligations, the university will have no further comment on the matter.”

The 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman had a breakout 2014-15 season for the Purple Eagles, averaging 9.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. But he also found some trouble away from the floor. In April, Reid was charged with second-degree identity theft and fourth-degree grand larceny, both charges being felonies. Last October, Reid was also arrested and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

The issues Reid is facing are still unresolved in some cases, with the four-degree grand larceny charge still in court.

MAAC announces change to conference tournament format

Hampton v Manhattan
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For conferences in which at-large bids to the NCAA tournament are tough to come by, the conference tournament is an incredibly important event. With that being the case, some leagues have looked give their top teams in the regular season an advantage when it comes to the conference tournament setup.

For some that advantage comes in the form of home court advantage, while others may do things such as advance their top seeds to the semifinals of the event. Thursday afternoon the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which in the past rewarded its top two seeds with a bye into the semifinals, announced that it has changed the format for its men’s and women’s conference tournaments.

Both tournaments, which are held at the same site (the Times Union Center, Siena’s home court in Albany, New York), will begin on Thursday, March 2 with three first round games in the women’s tournament followed by three games in the men’s bracket. The biggest change comes on Friday, with the top two seeds in both brackets taking the court against the winners of the 8/9 and 7/10 games respectively.

“The vote for the revised format was 9-1-1, with Manhattan opposed and Quinnipiac abstaining,” MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said in the release.  “The format change has been accepted by the Times Union Center (Albany, NY) which is hosting the 2016 & 2017 championships under a current three-year contract.”

And the winners of those games get a day off ahead of Sunday’s semifinals, which could especially pay dividends for teams that aren’t especially deep. News of a format change was first reported by the Asbury Park Press on Tuesday, and the paper got some comments from Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello.

And it’s safe to say that he isn’t all too thrilled with the timing of this change.

“I can’t recall a time when some changes happen within eight, nine months. Why not wait until the next contract?,” Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello told the Asbury Park Press via phone on Thursday afternoon.

“Basically, to have this changed, I have yet to get an answer why, which is what I find very puzzling. I think maybe people are tired of Manhattan and they don’t want to talk about that elephant in the room, our style and our depth. We’ve been to three title games in three years, back-to-back winners in two. I have a feeling that people didn’t like that because maybe we weren’t supposed to be there.”

The MAAC’s contract with the Times Union Center runs through the 2017 MAAC tournaments. Next year’s MAAC tournament schedule breaks down as follows:

Thursday, March 
Women’s First Round
9:30 a.m. 8 seed vs. 9 seed
11:30 a.m. 7 seed vs. 10 seed
1:30 p.m. 6 seed vs. 11 seed

Men’s First Round
5:00 p.m. 8 seed vs. 9 seed
7:00 p.m. 7 seed vs. 10 seed
9:00 p.m. 6 seed vs. 11 seed

Friday, March 4
Women’s Quarterfinals
12:00 p.m. 1 seed vs. 8/9 winner
2:30 p.m. 2 seed vs. 7/10 winner

Men’s Quarterfinals
7:00 p.m. 1 seed vs. 8/9 winner
9:30 p.m. 2 seed vs. 7/10 winner

Saturday, March 5
Women’s Quarterfinals
12:00 p.m. 3 seed vs. 6/11 winner
2:30 p.m. 4 seed vs. 5 seed

Men’s Quarterfinals
7:00 p.m. 3 seed vs. 6/11 winner
9:30 p.m. 4 seed vs. 5 seed

Sunday, March 6
Women’s Semifinals
11:00 a.m. 1/8/9 winner vs. 4/5 winner
1:30 p.m. 2/7/10 winner vs. 3/6/11 winner

Men’s Semifinals
4:30 p.m. 1/8/9 winner vs. 4/5 winner
7:00 p.m. 2/7/10 winner vs. 3/6/11 winner

Monday, March 7
Women’s Championship 
Semifinal winners, Time TBD

Men’s Championship
Semifinal winners, Time TBD

Niagara forward sidelined indefinitely due to legal issues

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The 2014-15 season was a productive one for Niagara forward Dominique Reid, who averaged 9.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest and earned MAAC All-Freshman Team honors. However things did not go as smoothly for the 6-foot-8 forward off the court, and the most recent of his legal issues has led to Reid no longer participating in team activities.

According to the Buffalo News, Reid has been charged with three felonies related to multiple legal issues during this past school year. In mid-April Reid was arrested on charges of second-degree identity theft and fourth-degree grand larceny, with both of those charges being felonies.

Reid made fraudulent use of banking information to pay personal bills, according to Sheriff’s Department officers. The exact amount of the transactions was not released but the total was for more than $1,000.

That case came on the heels of a mid-December arrest by the Sheriff’s Department on a felony charge of fourth-degree grand larceny. It came as a result of a fraud complaint by First Niagara Bank, according to Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti. Reid had filed fraud complaints of his own on his account and had been reimbursed by the bank for more than $1,000. The bank determined that Reid’s complaints proved to be false, upon further investigation.

Add to this the fact that Reid was arrested last October on a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and it’s clear that he’s had some problems away from the court. The question now is whether or not these recent charges will lead to the end of his time at Niagara.