A basketball player for Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts has been indefinitely suspended from the team and barred from campus for apparently throwing an elbow into an opponent's face.
The broadcast of the NCAA Division III basketball game posted to Fitchburg's website appears to show number 23, listed on the roster as Kewan Platt of Charlestown, throwing an elbow into the face of another player late in the game.
With Fitchburg State trailing Nichols College 73-63, freshman guard Nate Tenaglia of Tewksbury launches a three on a breakaway. As Tenaglia returns to the ground, Platt glances over his shoulder before apparently throwing an elbow right into the guard's face.
Tenaglia hits the ground hard and remains there momentarily before hopping up as the referees huddle.
"Clearly shows the kid already let the shot go and then gets hit," Fitchburg State junior Prince Addo said. "I don’t even know what to say; I’m just speechless."
After a short stoppage, the refs decide to toss Platt from the game, assessing a flagrant foul.
In a statement, Nichols College Athletics Director Chris Colvin said the team is glad Tenaglia was not hurt.
“We’re very happy that the Nichols College student-athlete involved in the incident, Nate Tenaglia, was unharmed and able to finish the contest. We are proud of the way our student-athletes handled the incident and that they did not allow it to escalate. This matter is in the hands of the authorities and the Fitchburg State administration. We trust that they will handle it appropriately," Colvin said.
One Twitter user pointed out that Platt appears to have been frustrated by a no-call at the other end.
"I feel it could’ve been a little feud like back and forth," Fitchburg State junior Eric Patel said.
The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying the organization is considering further sanctions against Fitchburg State University.
"It doesn't show a good side of the school," Fitchburg State student Eric Patel said Wednesday afternoon. "It kind of ruins the school's reputation. Other than that, it is just unsportsmanlike."
The conference also said Platt's previous player of the week award had been vacated.
"His behavior goes against the MASCAC’s mission, which includes good sportsmanship," the conference said on Twitter.
The Fitchburg State community is appalled by the conduct displayed during Tuesday night’s home basketball game. The player involved has been indefinitely suspended from the team and barred from campus, effective immediately.— Fitchburg State (@Fitchburg_State) November 14, 2018
His behavior is antithetical to our community values and good sportsmanship. Fitchburg State does not tolerate behavior that violates those standards. The case is being reviewed at the student conduct level for consideration of further sanctions.— Fitchburg State (@Fitchburg_State) November 14, 2018
WFXT reported that Fitchburg State University police are investigating.
You can watch the full game here.