|Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere ave been vital to the Blackbirds. When will/should they return to school? (US Presswire)|
Blackbirds swinging in the dead of night.
Four players from the two-time defending NEC champs, Long Island University (Brooklyn) , were arrested Thursday night and have been subsequently suspended from school for the immediate future. The news was first reported by Brooklyn News 12's Pat O'Keefe on Thursday night. The arrest of four players -- Julian Boyd , Troy Joseph, C.J. Garner and Jamal Olasewere -- stemmed from a fight last weekend with fellow LIU-Brooklyn students.
All four basketball players were charged with assault following their arrests on Thursday night. The fight took place late Friday/early Saturday morning, according to the New York Post, which reported that the fight involved four track team members, who were hospitalized, but a university official told CBSSports.com no track team members were involved in the incident.
UPDATE, 11:15 a.m.: School athletic director John Suarez just released this brief statement.
"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."
Boyd, Olasewere and Garner were the Blackbirds' three leading scorers last season. The program is seeing success unlike it has before, becoming a high-octane offense with big size and big talent all over the floor. However, that success led to the program losing its coach, Jim Ferry, to Duquesne last spring. Former LIU Brooklyn assistant Jack Perri was promoted in April. Clear to see here Perri's not messing around, though the school suspension indicates this decision goes above his head.
The banning of the four from classes has an uncertain timeline right now, as they will have to go through an appeal process before a board with the school before getting back on campus, let alone back on the team.
Boyd is the biggest name. He was the NEC Player of the Year last season in addition to garnering an honorable mention for AP All-American. Olasewere is also a very valuable piece. Without those two, not including the additional losses of Garner and Joseph, LIU Brooklyn is a much different team, one that significantly would be challenged to win a third straight conference title.