Morgan State Basketball: Head Coach Suspended for Alleged Incident with Player

T.J. McaloonContributorJanuary 9, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 20:  Head coach Todd Bozeman of the Morgan State Bears looks on during the team's game against the UNLV Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center November 20, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 92-55.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Morgan State’s head basketball coach Todd Bozeman has been suspended indefinitely, with pay, for an alleged incident that he had with a player on his team. The incident happened on Saturday, toward the end of their road win at South Carolina State. 

From The Baltimore Sun:  

Bozeman said that he was called by Kerr around 11 p.m., Sunday to inform him that he was suspended pending an investigation into the incident, which involved what Bozeman had characterized as "accidental contact" with senior guard Larry Bastfield. 

On the advice of his attorney, Bozeman asked Kerr to send him a letter in writing. Kerr then sent him an email stating that Bozeman was to return to Baltimore from Savannah, Ga., where the Bears are scheduled to play Savannah State tonight. 

Bozeman said that Kerr informed him that he was to "separate" himself from the team and have no further contact with any of his players or assistant coaches until further notice. Bozeman said Kerr would not explain why he was being suspended.

From South Carolina State’s president George E. Cooper, who was in attendance to witness what happened first hand said that he thought Bozeman had punched Bastifeld in the face.  

However, in a conversation with the Baltimore Sun, Bastifield said that he “exaggerated” his reaction to the contact with Bozeman.  

Bozeman went onto say in a telephone interview with the Baltimore Sun:

"These people are completely off the charts" with the allegation, Bozeman said in a telephone interview. "I didn't hit him in the face." 

Bozeman didn’t even know of the accusations that were against him until after the game in the post game handshake line when Cooper spoke with Bozeman and told him that he did not appreciate the conduct he had towards his players. 

Bozeman said that Cooper told him that he was going to call the authorities.  

After the game when Morgan State was heading to their bus to head towards Orangeburg, S.C., authorities stopped Bastifield outside of the bus to ask the player if he wanted to press charges against his head coach for the alleged punch.  

Bastifield declined saying that the coach, “Accidentally bumped me in the chest. It was something that happens in the heat of the game.” 

It seems as if this is going to turn into a he said, he said type of story. There seems to be two sides of what happened, with one side saying that Bozeman struck Bastifield in the face. While, Bozeman and the player in question, both stating that no one was punched. 

For now, it looks as if Bozeman will be kept away from the ball club until the story dies down.