A fight involving four members of the LIU Brooklyn basketball team could complicate the Blackbirds' hopes of repeating as Northeast Conference champs this year.
LIU basketball players C.J. Garner, Julian Boyd, Troy Joseph, and Jamal Olasewere were charged with third-degree assault Thursday as a result of a weekend skirmish at an on-campus party, News 12 in Brooklyn reported late Thursday night. Boyd is the reigning NEC player of the year and Olasewere and Garner are the Blackbirds' second and third leading scorers.
A university spokesman confirmed Friday that the players have been suspended pending an appeals process that could take up to two weeks. The spokesman also refuted a report the fight involved three male and two female members of the school's track and field team, calling that inaccurate.
The arrests come at a time of unprecedented success for the LIU Brooklyn basketball program. The Blackbirds have won back-to-back NEC regular season and conference tournament titles, falling to North Carolina and Michigan State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
The return of Boyd, Olasewere, Garner and point guard Jason Brickman made LIU Brooklyn an early favorite in the NEC next season despite losing their head coach over the offseason.
If the four suspended players don't miss many games, an NEC three-peat is still very much a possibility for the Blackbirds. If this drags into conference play, it could be to the advantage of fellow contenders Wagner and Robert Morris.
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