|Missouri suspends 5 players after top scorer hurt in altercation|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 29 January 2008 15:23|
In a statement from the university, Anderson declined to indicate the reason for the discipline, calling the infractions a violation of team rules. But the move comes as Columbia police confirmed that several teammates were with senior guard Stefhon Hannah when he was attacked outside the downtown nightclub Athena early Sunday morning. The injury could cause Hannah to miss the rest of the season.
Hannah, who returned home to Chicago following surgery, senior guard Jason Horton and forwards Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield and Leo Lyons were suspended. Each is either a starter or a key reserve.
``I am very disappointed in the actions of these young men,'' Anderson said. ``We have defined team rules and when those rules aren't followed, our guys must be held accountable for their actions.''
Sgt. Ken Hammond, supervisor of the city's major crimes unit, didn't identify the players who accompanied Hannah, but noted ``there were numerous other players there.''
``We have received information that other players were present,'' he said.
Anderson implemented what he called a ``zero-tolerance'' policy after junior forward DeMarre Carroll - his nephew - was shot in the ankle outside another Columbia nightclub over the summer. Police said Carroll was a bystander trying to break up a fight.
Along with the injuries suffered by Hannah and Carroll, three other Tigers players have been involved in off-court violence or misconduct since Anderson was hired less than two years ago.
One of those was Butterfield, who was arrested on charges of third-degree domestic assault for allegedly punching an ex-girlfriend. He was suspended before the season started but was reinstated after missing one exhibition game and an intrasquad scrimmage.
Butterfield has since pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor, and was given a six-month suspended sentence and two years of probation. He also was ordered to attend 20 hours of anger management classes.
Kalen Grimes, the school's leading rebounder and starting center last season, was dismissed from the team after being arrested for hitting a man in the face with the butt of a shotgun in St. Louis in July.
And last February, reserve guard Mike Anderson Jr., the coach's son, was suspended from the team after a drunken-driving arrest but was later reinstated.
Anderson has said the specifics of his disciplinary policy are an internal matter. But in an interview with the Columbia Daily Tribune, junior guard Matt Lawrence elaborated on the new team rules.
According to Lawrence, the team has an 11 p.m. weeknight curfew and a midnight curfew on weekends. The curfew was initially set at 9 p.m. after Carroll's shooting but was extended at the start of the school year. Team rules also forbid players from visiting certain bars or clubs, he said.
Police said that 20 to 30 people were outside the nightclub when they arrived after the assault, but that none of the observers provided any details about the fight. Hannah told police he was hit by an unknown object by at least one person he could not identify.
The assault happened just hours after the Tigers returned from a 66-62 victory at Colorado, the team's first road win this season. Hannah had a key steal in the final minutes to seal the win.
Hannah leads the Tigers (12-8, 2-3 Big 12) in scoring (14.7 points) and assists (5.1). A junior college transfer, he also led Missouri in scoring and assists last season.
He was released from University Hospital on Monday after successful surgery to repair his jaw.