The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced today that it has suspended six men’s basketball players for their involvement in an altercation following Norfolk State’s win against Howard on Feb. 2. The suspensions include three Howard players who will be barred from playing in their upcoming game against Florida A&M on Feb. 9.
After being down 24 in the second half on Saturday, the Spartans stormed all the way back to defeat the Bison 80-78 and stay perfect in the MEAC. Tempers and emotions were high during the game and all of that came to a head after the game when a brawl broke out between the two teams.
“Chapter 3, Section 5, Article 5 of the 2018-19 MEAC Constitution & By-Laws, concerning the role of student-athletes and sportsmanship, which reads, in part, ‘Student-athletes are expected to treat opponents with respect. They must be aware significant penalties will be applied for fighting, taunting an opponent, or other unethical conduct,’” the MEAC said in its recent press release.
It was reported by the Washington Post that the mother of Howard player R.J Cole heard a Norfolk coach “saying stuff” to her son, but after reviewing the film the MEAC has announced only player suspensions.
“Following a thorough review of the postgame video footage, three Norfolk State student-athletes (Jordan Butler, Kyonze Chavis and Nic Thomas) and three student-athletes from Howard (Princewill Anosike, Jalen Jones and Andre Toure’) violated conference policy.”
The loss of Anosike, Jones and Toure’ might not affect the Bison’s scoring output as they average only 2.2, 1.3 and 5.4 points a game respectively. But, their absence could affect their bench depth and rotation since each player averages about 10 minutes a game, with Toure getting the most playing time of the three (20.9 min per game and 11 start).
Although these suspensions may affect one team more than the other, MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas hopes that these punishments will send a message to all athletes in the conference.
“Anytime you have student athletes that are involved in an altercation, whether it’s before the game, during the game or after the game, there’s going to be some disciplinary action taken to insure that student athletes comport themselves with good sportsmanship,” said Thomas.
“Hopefully they will insure that this will never happen again in their collegiate career.”
FAMU will take on North Carolina Central at 7 p.m. today before hosting the short-handed Bison this Saturday at 4 p.m.