Updates from Thursday, April 10
Steve Walentik of the Columbia Daily Tribune has more on Zach Price:
#Mizzou announces that PF Zach Price has been dismissed from the basketball team a week after he was twice arrested on suspicion of assault.— Steve Walentik (@Steve_Walentik) April 10, 2014
Update at 6:01 PM ET
It's been a day to forget for Zach Price. David Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirms that the Missouri forward was arrested for the second time today:
Columbia Police confirm that Mizzou basketball player Zach Price has been brought in and arrested for the second time today. More to come.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) April 3, 2014
We'll update as more details become available.
Missouri forward Zach Price was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and third-degree domestic assault early Thursday morning and has been suspended indefinitely by the university, pending the result of the investigation.
The Columbia Police Department first confirmed Price's arrest to Steve Walentik of the Columbia Daily Tribune:
Columbia Police confirm #Mizzou F Zach Price was arrested on suspicion of 3rd-degree assault and 3rd-degree domestic assault. Story to come.— Steve Walentik (@Steve_Walentik) April 3, 2014
According to police records obtained by Walentik, Price, 20, was involved with an altercation with a roommate and a female acquaintance after the 1 a.m. hour on Thursday. After an argument, he allegedly followed them to their parked car, where he blocked their exit with his vehicle and then began assaulting the victims.
Police allege Price punched one of the victims, though it is unclear which, in the face. When the other person attempted to calm Price down and stop the assault, the Missouri forward allegedly threw the victim to the ground. He was subdued by police and arrested at 2:31 a.m.
He was then taken to the local police station and booked on charges of assault and domestic assault, both in the third degree. According to Missouri law, a citizen can be charged with third-degree assault if they "attempt to cause or recklessly cause physical injury to another person" or purposefully engages in conduct that could lead to physical harm.
Both crimes are misdemeanors. Penalties include a maximum of a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Although he has not been convicted, university policy says Price will be suspended indefinitely, with his long-term punishment being determined at a later date.
“We are aware of the situation involving Zach Price and per department policy, he is suspended immediately,” a university-released statement said.
Price is only the latest Missouri basketball player to run afoul with the law. In March, guards Wes Clark and Shane Rector were among four Tigers student-athletes arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. The school has subsequently suspended both of those players, pending the case result.
Price, a highly touted big man coming out of high school, began his collegiate career at Louisville. He played sparingly for two seasons under Rick Pitino before deciding to transfer after the 2012-13 season. As noted by Rivals' Gabe DeArmond, Pitino did not fight much to keep him in the fold:
@JoshBabcock He wasn't playing much. Wanted to play more. Pitino didn't fight to keep him there, I remember.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) April 3, 2014
Because of NCAA eligibility bylaws, Price did not play this past season. If brought back into the fold at Missouri, he will have two years remaining.
More concerning is what these recent run-ins with the law could mean for Haith's program. The 48-year-old coach has compiled a 77-28 record in three seasons with the Tigers after coming over following a seven-year stint at Miami (Fla.). Though he's had a winning record each year, Haith's teams have been progressively more disappointing.
Missouri exited in the second round of the NIT in 2014 after two straight NCAA tournament appearances. Returning to the Dance won't be any easier with Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown's respective decisions to enter the NBA draft.
Given the school's move to the SEC, a much weaker basketball conference than the Big 12, Haith's seat may get warm if alumni are upset with his players' continued run-ins with the law.
Either way, right now the Missouri program will be without a player it expected to contribute next year.
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