On Thursday, four LIU-Brooklyn men's basketball players were arrested on charges of third-degree assault, according to a tweet by Pat O'Keefe of News 12 in The Bronx and Brooklyn. The arrests came following an on-campus fight.
Those arrested include forwards Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere, combo-guard C.J. Garner and reserve Troy Joseph. Boyd, Olasewere and Garner were the team's top three scorers and all started for the Blackbirds last season, when they won their second consecutive NEC championship.
CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander reported that all four players are suspended indefinitely.
If these players do not return to the team for the basketball season, the Blackbirds' seemingly inevitable three-peat in the NEC is in question.
Boyd was the NEC Player of the Year last season, averaging 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds. He also made the conference's first team as a redshirt sophomore. Boyd became a feel-good story by making an unforeseen comeback to hoops after missing his sophomore season with a heart condition.
Olasewere and Garner were also huge contributors, averaging 16.9 points and 12.6 points, respectively. Olasewere led the team in field-goal percentage at 57.1 percent and was the Blackbirds' best defender with 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
LIU was the clear favorite in the NEC prior to these arrests, although Robert Morris, Wagner and Quinnipiac were all expected to put up a solid fight. But without Boyd, Olasewere and Garner, the Blackbirds would at best be the second-best team in the conference, behind the Colonials. The Blackbirds would be in danger of falling behind Wagner and possibly even Quinnipiac.