SIAC hands down lifetime ban for fans involved in basketball brawl, suspends 15 players

A brawl at a basketball game between two HBCUs that included players and spectators has earned several student-athletes suspensions and lifetime bans for fans involved.

A total of 15 student-athletes from LeMoyne-Owen and Lane College have been suspended due to their roles in the bench clearing brawl on Saturday, January 14th, the SIAC announced on Friday. Spectators who have been identified by either school or the Memphis Police Department as active participants in the fight will be banned for life from attending all SIAC athletic events.

SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore issued a lengthy statement following the announcement of the decision.

“The incident which unfolded Saturday evening not only was in direct contravention of these critically important interests, but in a larger and very real sense, these isolated incidents scar and victimize league stakeholders throughout the SIAC who work extremely hard to ensure that athletic events across all of our campuses remain safe places and spaces for all of our student-athletes and loyal fans,” Moore said.

The suspensions will vary from two to five games each. Three players who left the bench and were actively involved in the fight will serve five game suspensions.  Two players who were already on the court and were directly involved will serve three game suspensions.  A total of 10 players who left the bench and were indirectly involved will serve the minimum two game suspension.

The league also plans to work with local law enforcement to pursue prosecution against spectators who are identified.

Each school will be allowed to stagger the suspensions over the course of the remainder of the regular season, but that schedule must be approved by the SIAC office.  Any suspensions not completed by the end of the regular season must be served during the SIAC tournament.

The SIAC will also levy institutional fines against both LeMoyne-Owen and Lane, along with respective head coaches William Anderson and Bryanth Basemore.  The amount of those fines are undisclosed.

The game, which was suspended after the brawl, will be ruled a no contest and will not be rescheduled.

“As a conference, we will continue to fiercely protect and advance these interests and maintain a zero tolerance policy for any conduct which falls short of the SIAC expectations regarding safety and good sportsmanship.”

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