Iona sits all alone atop the always-competitive MAAC standings, holding a two-game lead over Rider, Manhattan and Monmouth in the loss column.
But after an incident at the end of an overtime win over St. Peter’s on Saturday, it’s unclear whether Gaels star A.J. English will be available for Iona in the near future.
After the final buzzer sounded in a physical, emotionally intense game, the two teams came together at one end of the floor as the benches cleared. There were no punches thrown — it was not a brawl, as some have termed it — but in the middle of the scrum, English was caught on video tossing a referee aside.
He’s No. 5. The incident occurs at the :09 mark (video via NYC Buckets):
Iona head coach Tim Cluess was not all that forthright when discussing the incident on Tuesday. From the Albany Times-Union:
On a media conference call this afternoon, Iona coach Tim Cluess was asked if his team will face any discipline from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference or from the Iona athletic department. Cluess said the incident is still under review and his team is getting ready to face the Saints.
In a follow-up question, Cluess was asked if making contact with an official should be punishable with a suspension. “No comment,” he said. “I think you should take a better look at the situation, though.” Asked to elaborate, Cluess repeated, “No comment.”
English is averaging 20.7 points, 5.2 boards and 5.6 assists this season. Losing him would be a massive blow for the Gaels.