Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Richards won't play for X at Final

Richards won't play for X at Final

AD says school's investigation into alleged assault 'far from complete'
By CHAD LUCAS Sports Reporter
Tue. Mar 10 - 8:17 PM

St. F.X. all-star Tyler Richards, one of three X-Men facing assault charges, won't play in the Canadian university basketball championship this weekend in Ottawa. (TED PRITCHARD / Staff / File)

The St. Francis Xavier X-Men will play without all-star Tyler Richards at the CIS Final 8 in Ottawa.

St. F.X. athletic director Leo MacPherson said that Richards and rookies William Donkoh and Eamon Morrissy will remain out of the lineup this weekend. All three are charged with assault stemming from an incident in Antigonish on Feb. 21 that sent a man to hospital with undisclosed injuries.
The players are due in court on May 4 to enter pleas.

All three sat on the bench in street clothes during the AUS Final 6 last weekend, where St. F.X. lost 72-60 to Dalhousie in the championship game.

The X-Men were granted the wild-card entry into the national basketball championship, which begins Friday at Scotiabank Place.

MacPherson said the university’s own internal investigation into the alleged assault is “far from complete,” so no changes were warranted to the players’ status for this weekend.

“(The investigation) is continuing and unfortunately these things can’t get resolved to a point early enough that we can make changes to our original decision,” MacPherson said.

It’s an ill-fated end to an otherwise stellar university career for Richards, a four-time AUS first-team all-star. The Halifax native and St. Patrick’s graduate is third all-time in St. F.X. total career scoring, behind John Hatch and Fred Perry. He finished second in conference scoring and led the X-Men with 19.6 points per game this season.

“It’s a tough way for him to end his career,” said St. F.X. coach Steve Konchalski. “It’s tough for me, having coached him for five years. But he’s taking it like a man.”

Donkoh and Morrissy played sparingly for St. F.X. this season. Donkoh played an average of 10.4 minutes in 14 conference games while Morrissy saw 5.2 minutes per game in 12 contests.

Konchalski said all three players will make the trip to Ottawa.

“They’re still part of our team, they’re still part of our family,” Konchalski said. “We’re not turning our backs on them because they were involved in that incident. We’re supporting them. But putting them on the court is a different story.”

The X-Men take on the No. 1 seed and host Carleton Ravens in the Final 8’s opening round on Friday at 9 p.m. Atlantic.


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