LIU Brooklyn reinstates the 4 suspended players, suspended for first 2 NEC games

After nearly three weeks of wondering and speculating and four days before the official start of practice for the 2012-13 season, we finally learned this afternoon the fate of the four suspended LIU Brooklyn players who were allegedly involved in a on-campus fight at a party back on September 14. The four players who were suspended, Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere, C.J. Garner and Troy Joseph were all reinstated by the university and are back on the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team.  Here was statement from LIU:

“After careful consideration of the appeals of four members of our men’s basketball team who were suspended for their involvement in a Sept. 15 altercation on campus, the University has lifted the suspensions and placed the student-athletes on probation, requiring that they continue to participate in an anger management program and undergo counseling, as well as perform community service. Additional sanctions will be imposed by the athletic department, including game suspensions.”

With the reinstatement of the players, the next thing everyone wanted to know was what would be the game suspensions for these four players. LIU Brooklyn Athletic Director John Suarez release a statement informing all of that information:

“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. 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.”

Although LIU Brooklyn hasn’t officially released their conference schedule yet, the two conference games that the four players will miss are the January 3rd tilt at Sacred Heart and the January 5th game at Quinnipiac. They all return for the mega match-up at home versus Wagner on January 10.

First of all, regarding the reinstatement and the game suspensions, I always thought they would all get reinstated. I think this is an administration that believes in giving those who have made mistakes in their past, a second chance. They had proven this in the past and I didn’t think they were going to deviate from that thinking with this group. As far as the two conference-game suspension goes, LIU could have gone the easy way and just suspended them the first two games of the season and have them miss the Morehead State game at the Barclays Center and the game at Lafayette. They decided to go with a bit more harsher penalty in suspended them for two conference games. In a season where a matter of a game or two could be the difference between the 1, 2, and 3-seed in the NEC, losing these guys for those two games could be a factor whether or not LIU gets home-court throughout the NEC Tournament or not. Quinnipiac is considered a top 4 team in the NEC this season and Sacred Heart is being looked upon to make a major move upward in the NEC standings with a ton of returnees. Yet, all in all, to only have these guys out for two games is still much better than the alternative and great news to hear for all Blackbirds fans including myself.

This will make the three-horse race between LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris and Wagner even more compelling. It will enhance the importance for LIU to win pretty much all the games versus these foes. It might even be just as important for LIU to possible have to win out if they start the NEC season 0-2 with these four players out if they want a chance at a 1 seed. I think with these guys happy and relieved that they were able to get a second chance to make their three-peat dream possible, this could be the motivating factor to this team pursue an unprecedented third straight NEC championship. There are still are plenty of question marks though and we have to wait to the season to start to get some answers to them but at least one major question was answered today, the one that would have made or broken their season and all likelihood their chances at three-peating.

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