Jamaal Bass (No. 6, right side) learned the hard way that throwing cheapshots at the Toledo band gets you nothing but trouble.
Criminal charges against Bass, a freshman linebacker at Northern Illinois, were filed Friday four months after Bass allegedly threw a shoulder into a Toledo band member and knocked over another while the Huskies were running onto the field prior to a 63-60 win over the Rockets on Nov. 1. The band members were hospitalized with concussions.
Bass was indicted on one count of felonious assault and one count of misdemeanor assault. The felonious assault charge could land Bass in prison for up to eight years.
Coach Dave Doeren suspended Bass for a game and the Mid-American Conference tacked on two more. Bass did return for the team's bowl game.
Northern Illinois athletic direct Jeff Compher said Bass was still on the team despite the indictment.
"As the legal proceedings in Toledo involving NIU football player Jamaal Bass are ongoing, we will reserve any comment until that process is complete," Compher said in a news statement released by NIU on Monday night. "Jamaal is currently enrolled at Northern Illinois and his status with the football program has not changed."
No date has been set for Bass' arraignment.
Let this be a lesson to all players: Even though the band was on the field, it is not fair game.