Late Thursday evening, News 12 Brooklyn’s Pat O’Keefe reported on his evening sportscast that four members of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team were arrested and charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. The players reportedly arrested were redshirt sophomore forward Troy Joseph, senior guard C.J. Garner, senior forward Jamal Olasewere, and senior forward and reigning NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd.
According to the O’Keefe’s sportscast, the arrests stems from an alleged assault from a fight that happened approximately one week ago (according to a tweet by O’Keefe, the fight happened last Friday) at a back-to-school party. According to reports, the fight occurred on campus. The players were all reportedly arrested and held at the nearby 88th precinct in the Downtown Brooklyn/Fort Greene area of Brooklyn on Thursday night. Not much more details were given.
According to a statement by LIU Brooklyn Provost Gale Stevens Haynes reported in the News 12 sportscast, the four players violated the school’s code of conduct and therefore are immediately suspended from school. Also according to O’Keefe’s report, there is an appeal process that all the players will go through and that could take as long as a week.
It is hard to speculate at the moment what effect if any this will have on the upcoming LIU Brooklyn season. Right now, there isn’t much details to what actually happened to cause the arrests or what role each of the four players played in this alleged assault and what possible penalties each player is facing or going have to face if any at all. Yet, this is in no way a good situation to hear that four of LIU’s players including last season’s top 3 scorers getting themselves arrested and suspended from school indefinitely.
According to the O’Keefe report on News 12 Thursday night, LIU Brooklyn PR at the moment had no comment. For those not from the NYC area, News 12 is a cable-only news station serving Cablevision and Time Warner cable subscribers in Brooklyn and the Bronx as well as other nearby regions.
There is already a petition started by some of the other student-athletes at LIU in support of the four arrested players. As of Thursday night, the student-athletes had collected over 300 student signatures in a span of two hours in support of these players. According to a tweet by Nick Medanis, who is another News 12 sports anchor/reporter, there is also anger against the players involved as well as the strong support for them.
This has definitely made a mess of the team’s preseason preparations as LIU Brooklyn looks to win a third consecutive Northeast Conference regular season and tournament championship and a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance which would be a first for any team from the NEC. New first-year head coach Jack Perri and his coaching staff will now have their hands full navigating their team through this full blown controversy. I will try to keep everyone up-to-date as much as possible as more information and details start filtering out in coming days and weeks as we get closer to the start of the 2012-13 college basketball season.
9/21/12 9:40 am – The New York Post this morning released their article regarding the arrests. In the article, it says a fight on campus broke out between these four players and members of the LIU track team which include three men and two women. The injured parties where taken to Brooklyn Hospital across the street from campus. According to the article, no one was seriously injured.
9/21/12 10:15 am – Raphielle Johnson of College Basketball Talk on nbcsports.com in a blog post wrote he received an e-mail from LIU Athletics saying that the five victims were NOT members of the LIU track team as reported by the NY Post. Multiple reports are now saying the same.
9/21/12 11:00 am – Jeff Eisenberg, a college basketball blogger for Yahoo! just tweeted that the players’ appeal process could take up to two weeks. News 12 last night reported that the appeal process could take up to a week. So now, these four players could miss up to two weeks of classes before having their appeals heard.
9/21/12 11:20 am – LIU Brooklyn Athletic Director John Suarez released the following statement moments ago:
LIU Brooklyn has suspended indefinitely four members of its men’s basketball team for their involvement in a Sept. 14 altercation on campus. No other student-athletes were implicated in this incident. Until all legal and appeals processes have been completed, we will not comment further on this matter.
9/21/12 1:15 pm – Multiple reports including one for ESPNNewYork.com’s Kieran Darcy, is reporting that there were only four and not five victims as was earlier reported who were allegedly assaulted which is coming the New York Police Department. Reports are still are saying two of victims are female. Also, Pat O’Keefe from News 12 Brooklyn who broke this news last night just tweeted he has an update he will have on his 2:15 pm sportscast. I don’t have cable at my home so I won’t be able to watch the update. Will try and get the info regarding O’Keefe’s latest update later this afternoon.
9/21/12 4:00 pm – A tweet to Pat O’Keefe in regards to the latest information he said he had went unreplied. Although later in the afternoon, he tweeted info that was already know which was the players haven’t been expelled and that all the players will be going through an appeal process that could take up to two weeks to complete.
9/22/12 3:45 pm - The New York Times released their article about the arrests yesterday and it is most detailed-filled article regarding the events leading to the arrests so far. Here is a link to the NY Times article. Note, in the article only three of the four players who were arrested are mentioned in the details of the events of that night. Julian Boyd was not mentioned in any of the events described in the NY Times article.
9/27/12 – Seawanhaka, the LIU Brooklyn campus student newspaper, has a recap of the incident and the suspensions from the campus/student body point-of-view
10/4/12 – In a tweet by Zach Brazille of the New York Post, an LIU spokesperson told him that an appeals decision for the four suspended LIU players will be made by Wednesday of next week (October 10)