Further adding fuel to an already raging inferno, Binghamton University, and it's head basketball coach Kevin Broadus announced today that they were dismissing five players, including reigning America East points scoring leader DJ Rivera.
This announcement comes only two days after it was announced that star guard Emanuel "Tiki" Mayben had been arrested and charged with selling cocaine. He was dismissed by the university yesterday.
On the heels of that, university officials announced today that Rivera, guards Malik Alvin and David Fine, and two transferring players, Paul Crosby and Corey Chandler were being dismissed from the team, because as Associate Director of Athletics for Communications John Hartrick put it, “they are not toeing the line."
In a statement released by the university, Broadus said:
"It’s important that everyone who is playing for Binghamton University and for me to be on the same page as to what kind of commitment we expect of our student-athletes, both on and off the court...There’s only one captain steering this ship, and that’s me. If any of the young men in our program don’t respect the decisions that have been made or the rules we have in place, then they need to move on with their lives...We’ll play with the student-athletes that want to be here, have respect for the institution, the game and the opportunities that we have provided for them..."
Rivera, who led the America East in scoring last season with around 20 points per game, and Alvin, who was among the conference leaders in steals, were both an integral part of the teams offense. Coupled with Mayben, they were one of the most feared threesomes in the conference.
Fine, whose father Bernie serves as an assistant coach at Syracuse University, played in 15 games last season, mainly as a backup for Mayben.
Chandler, an incoming recruit who played two seasons at Rutgers, transferred to Binghamton in August. While at Rutgers, he averaged 11.9 points per game as a freshman in 2007-08, good enough to earn him Big East All-Rookie team honors. However, several disciplinary problems led to his dismissal from the team, just a short time before he enrolled in Vestal.
Crosby, a 6'7" forward, averaged 10.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game playing for Navarro Junior College last season.
The loss of Rivera, Mayben, and Alvin, the team's three leading scorers, accounts for just over 42 points per game of offense. The three were also tough defenders, who often stymied opposing players with an up-tempo, all-or-nothing style of play.
So what does this mean overall for the Bearcats?
Frankly, it means that they're in very deep trouble, both on the court and off it.
On the court, the team has lost any shred of firepower that it once had. The team is left with only three players on the squad that saw any playing time at all last season, none of whom could be termed a "star."
Off the court, the media backlash began last season, aimed not only at the basketball program, but the university as a whole.
Alvin himself started the rumblings of the storm when he was arrested last October for stealing condoms from a local Walmart, and while fleeing the scene, knocking over an elderly woman, who sustained a concussion.
Later in the season, two other players, Theo Davis and Dwyane Jackson both left the team for unclear reasons.
Then in February, New York Times writer Pete Thamel published an article alleging that university officials had attempted to coerce professors into changing grades and to essentially cut the student athletes more slack.
And with the events of the last few days, there will be no end to the attacks on the university, the basketball program, and Kevin Broadus.
And frankly, those attacks are completely warranted, because something is incredibly wrong at Binghamton University, and it's not a secret anymore.