PASCO COUNTY, Florida– A St. Leo men’s basketball player was suspended after a home game against Nova Southeastern University last weekend for sucker-punching an opposing player.
A cell phone video surfaced from the Dec. 7 NCAA Division 2 basketball game showing St. Leo University senior Isaiah Hill punch NSU junior Nick Smith. In the video, Smith falls to the ground and appears to be in shock and disoriented.
It’s NCAA Div. 2 game in Florida. But I bring it up because it’s surreal & former WPIAL standout Nick Smith is on the end of one of the most horrific cheap shots you’ll ever see. Also surreal official standing right next to it & nothing happens to this Saint Leo’s U. player. pic.twitter.com/Tv1ygleVOO
— Mike White (@mwhiteburgh) December 8, 2019
On Monday, St. Leo University head men’s basketball coach Lance Randall issued a suspension for Hill for his conduct on the court.
“Isaiah’s conduct on the court is not an accurate representation of Saint Leo’s core values. St. Leo University holds its students to high standards of moral and ethical conduct as a reflection of its Benedictine values. Upon review of Isaiah’s actions this past Saturday, he will not represent St. Leo University in competition for the remainder of 2019,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Fran Reidy.
St. Leo University President Jeffrey Senese also issued a statement in support of the suspension.
“I support the decision of our coach and athletics administration. This type of conduct will not be tolerated. I am saddened by this event as this behavior does not reflect who we are at St. Leo University and apologize for any comments that suggest otherwise,” said Senese.
WFLA contacted Nova Southeastern about the incident. Jameson Carter, Manager of Athletic Communications for the university tells WFLA Smith did not suffer any major injuries during the incident.
“He stayed in the game and played through,” said Carter.
The St. Leo University Lions fell to the Nova Southeastern Sharks 92-77.