Morgan State University’s Men’s Basketball Team Forfeits to Hampton University

Penelope Blackwell

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced punishments for the Morgan State men’s basketball team for their role in the altercation and forfeit of the game this past Saturday at Hampton University.

The game ended prematurely after an altercation and ejection of coach Todd Bozeman with 13:33 left in the second half. Forward David Syfax was also ejected after it was ruled that he threw a punch. He will serve a three game suspension that will carry over to the first game of the MEAC tournament. Coach Bozeman will be reprimanded by letter and fined an undisclosed amount.

“Sometimes you’re playing well, sometimes you’re not,” said Bozeman. “Sometimes there’s other factors, that I clearly can’t comment on, that get in the way. Sometimes you have to just play through it.”

After the coach was issued his second technical foul, and ejected, he pulled his team off the court. The forfeit will count towards the win/loss record of both teams but the stats from the incomplete game will not. The final score in the books will be Hampton winning 2-0.

“Out of fairness to our team, I feel that the athletic director and the coach felt they had to make a decision in the safety and the best interests of the players” said Kevin Banks, vice president of student affairs. “I am quite sure our athletic director is reviewing the matter with the league and I’m sure our president will do the same.”

David Wilson, president of Morgan State University (MSU), could not be contacted for comment.

“That happen at Hampton, we couldn’t dwell on it, we couldn’t think about it,” said guard Tiwian Kendley.”It happens, a loss is a loss but we have to bounce back and know we have a season to finish.”

The referees and conference officials reviewed the footage of the incident before making the ruling that Syfax’s suspension. He was recently put into the starting lineup and has played a major role for the team this season averaging six points and four rebounds.

In the press release the Commissioner of the MEAC, Dennis Thomas, said “We expect our student athletes and coaches to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times.”

The Bears currently sit in seventh place in the MEAC, and have one more conference game versus Delaware State before the conference tournament starts on March 6, from Norfolk Scope Arena. In his only statement about the incident, coach Bozeman simply put it, “It was what it was, stuff happens at Hampton all the time, it’s one of those things.”