ST. PAUL - Hamline University suspended 14 men's basketball players and its head coach after one of its players reportedly assaulted a woman while the team was at a tournament in Washington state New Year's Eve.
The school took the action Friday which means the Pipers will forfeit its MIAC game against Gustavus Adolphus, which was to take place today. Hamline dimissed Eugene Lawrence, 18, a freshman from New Orleans, from the basketball program and suspended him from the university pending a formal hearing. Also suspended was head coach Nelson Whitmore, who is also an associate athletic director.
The incident of assault reportedly took place in Spokane in the early hours of Jan. 1. A woman who was a classmate of one of the team members was reportedly punched in the face by Lawrence after an argument, knocking her out and causing three facial fractures. Lawrence was later arrested by Spokane police and charged with second-degree assault. The police report also stated that team members did not take her to the hospital reportedly because it would have violated team curfew.
In a statement, the school said "that 14 students face disciplinary procedures for "student handbook violations and team suspensions of varying lengths of time for violating standards set forth in Hamline's athletic code of conduct."