Morgan State University in Baltimore has suspended head men’s basketball coach Todd Bozeman for an incident that occurred Saturday night. Bozeman allegedly punched one of his players in the Morgan St. Bear’s victory Saturday night over South Carolina State:
Bozeman said that he was called by Kerr around 11 p.m., Sunday to inform him that he was suspended pending an investigation into the incident, which involved what Bozeman had characterized as “accidental contact” with senior guard Larry Bastfield.
Some who viewed the incident in person, including school president George E. Cooper, thought that Bozeman had punched Bastfield in the face. Both Bozeman and Bastfield said Sunday night that the incident had been blown out of proportion.
But Christopher Johnson, a South Carolina State graduate who was attending the game, said that he and others clearly saw Bozeman strike the player and hear him yell at Bastfield moments later. Johnson said he was sitting in the front row of the upper level of the small gym.
Unless video evidence of the incident is presented it would be difficult for us to choose a side in this ordeal. Nonetheless, a coach being accused of punching one of his players on the sideline is a serious offense. Morgan State acted responsibly by suspending Bozeman while the investigation is underway.
Bozeman is best known for his coaching days at California Berkeley, where he was investigated by the NCAA for illegally providing a reported $30,000 to the parents of Jelani Gardner. Bozeman was also accused of sexual harassment while head coach at Cal. Bozeman landed his job at Morgan State after the NCAA 8-year “show-cause” order against him expired in 2005. Bozeman also was charged with assault back in 2007, allegedly grabbing and shaking a female employee at Mulligan’s over ham sandwiches.
So far this season, Bozeman has coached the Bears to only a 3-9 record after posting an impressive record of 102-65 over the previous five seasons. Senior Larry Batsfield is averaging 6.5 ppg and 2.8 assists per game as the Bears’ starting point guard.
Information from the Baltimore Sun was used in this report.