The Richmond Register

Sports

February 21, 2010

Suspensions won’t keep Berea out of tournament

Despite the suspension of five players following a bench-clearing brawl in the regular-season finale, the Berea College men’s basketball team will get the chance to play in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Mountaineers will be short-handed when they take on Cincinnati Christian Tuesday at the Seabury Center in the opening round of the tournament.

Game time is set for 8 p.m. in Berea.

The league announced one-game fighting suspensions for 11 players on Friday, just one day after a nasty incident which led to a game between Berea College and Indiana University Southeast being canceled with 8:52 left in the first half.

Every player from both teams was ejected, raising the possibility that the Mountaineers may not have enough eligible players to field a team in the KIAC Tournament opener.

However, Berea coach John Mills said on Saturday evening that his team will have eight or nine players in uniform against Cincinnati Christian.

“It’s unfortunate for both teams,” Mills said. “I hate it.”

League and school officials have not yet released the names of the Berea players who had been penalized.

According to the Courier-Journal, the suspended IUSE players were: Jazzmarr Ferguson, George White and Carlos Mitchell and reserves Alex Gravelle, DeJon Gary and Rick Bodiford.

All those players sat out the Grenadiers’ loss to Indiana University East Saturday in their regular-season finale. IUSE added seven-full time students to the team’s roster as walk-ons to avoid having to forfeit the game.

The Grenadiers are scheduled to take on St. Louis College of Pharmacy Tuesday in the opening round of the KIAC Tournament.

Berea College and IUSE are on opposite sides of the conference tournament bracket and could meet in the championship game, which is scheduled for Saturday in Frankfort.

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