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Archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Missouri kicks Hannah off team

February 13, 2008

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— Missouri guard Stefhon Hannah, the central figure in a nightclub fracas that led to the suspension of five players, was kicked off the team on Tuesday

Hannah's jaw was broken outside the Athena nightclub about 1 a.m. Jan. 27, hours after the Tigers returned from their first road victory of the season at Colorado. Missouri's leading scorer, a senior, was dismissed a day before the Tigers' game at Nebraska on Wednesday.

In a release, the school said coach Mike Anderson dismissed Hannah for violating team rules. Hannah had been at his home in Chicago recuperating from the injury, which was expected to sideline him for most if not all of the rest of the season.

Missouri is 13-11 overall and 1-3 since the incident, the latest to mar Anderson's second season at the school. The Tigers are 3-6 in the Big 12, tied for ninth in the conference.

The dismissal comes a day after Anderson met with Hannah, and four days after Hannah returned to campus for the first time since the fracas and was arrested on a charge of third-degree misdemeanor assault. Anderson said on Saturday that he expected Hannah to return to class on Monday. Hannah was dismissed because he has not met team academic requirements.

Anderson gave Hannah the option of remaining on scholarship to continue working toward a degree.

"Young people make mistakes," Anderson said in a statement. "Part of becoming a young man is accepting the consequences of your actions, not compounding them.

"We will continue to support Stefhon through this difficult time and his health continues to be our primary concern."

Hannah led Missouri in scoring the last two seasons, with a 14.7-point average this season.

The other senior starting guard, Jason Horton, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree misdemeanor assault on Feb. 1 after a 26-year-old Athena employee told police Horton repeatedly punched him in the face. Hannah is accused of assaulting the same employee.

Police said a witness came to the employee's defense and punched Hannah, breaking the player's jaw.

Seniors Marshall Brown and Darryl Butterfield and junior Leo Lyons also were suspended after the incident. Brown and Lyons were suspended for one game, Butterfield and Horton for two each.

Butterfield has been suspended twice, the first after an arrest for punching a former girlfriend last summer. He pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence and six months probation when the charge was downgraded to peace disturbance.

DeMarre Carroll, Anderson's nephew, was shot in the ankle outside a downtown club while trying to break up a fight. Mike Anderson Jr., the coach's son and a backup guard, was arrested for DUI last year and suspended for a game.

Kalen Grimes, the leading rebounder last season, was kicked off the team after being arrested for hitting a man in the face with the butt of a shotgun in St. Louis in July.

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