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Patrick Ewing’s quest to lead Georgetown back to the NCAA tournament just suffered a major blow.
Starting point guard James Akinjo and forward Josh LeBlanc are no longer with the program and have entered the NCAA transfer portal, Ewing announced on Monday night.
“Georgetown University men’s basketball players James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc will not be playing for the men’s basketball team effective immediately and will not be members of the team for the remainder of the season,” Ewing said in a statement, via NBC Sports.
Reports connect players with restraining orders, sexual assault allegations
It’s not clear specifically what led to both Akinjo and LeBlanc’s departures from the program, however multiple reports connected LeBlanc and two other Georgetown players to allegations of sexual assault, harassment and burglary.
According to CBS Sports, at least two accusers filed for temporary restraining orders on Nov. 5 against LeBlanc and teammates Galen Alexander and Myron Gardner, which were granted a week later. One of the complaints accused LeBlanc of assault and battery and theft.
Neither Alexander nor Gardner were mentioned in Ewing’s statement.
“In response to an alleged burglary that I believe Joshua LeBlanc committed against me on September 16, 2019, Joshua threatened bodily harm against myself and my roommate,” the accuser’s statement read, via CBS Sports. “He continued to threaten me verbally and via text message in the following week. Joshua has also committed violence against women in the past.”
A second accusation filed days later, per the report, accused Gardner of both sexual harassment and assault. The accuser said she filed police reports with both Georgetown Police and Washington, D.C., Police — which allegedly caused Gardner, LeBlanc and Alexander to threaten and harass the accuser more, according to CBS Sports.
Akinjo has not been accused with his three teammates.
“Georgetown takes student conduct issues very seriously and ensures that they are investigated throughly,” Georgetown said in a statement on Monday night, via Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. “While we are not able to comment on specific cases, we have processes for investigating and adjudicating alleged violations of our student code that are fair to both parties. We encourage any student who has a concern to be in contact with the Georgetown University Police Department or the Office of Student Conduct.”
Akinjo, who was named the Big East Rookie of the Year last season, has averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 assists in his first seven games with the Hoyas this season. LeBlanc, who was a four-star recruit and named to the Big East All-Freshman team last year, has averaged 7.2 points and 2.7 rebounds off the bench so far this season.
Alexander, who transferred to Georgetown from LSU, has averaged just 4.4 points and 11 minutes per game off the bench so far this season. Gardner, a freshman from Detroit, has averaged 3.7 points in six games off the bench.
Georgetown has struggled since Ewing took over the program at the start of the 2017-18 season, and has failed to earn an NCAA tournament bid since 2015. Losing its starting point guard and a key bench player after the season has already started, however, certainly doesn’t help that goal.
The Hoyas lost to No. 10 Duke and also fell to Penn State by 15 points already this season, and are fresh off a four-point loss on Saturday to UNC Greensboro. They’re set to take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater next on Wednesday night, part of the Big 12-Big East Challenge.
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