Marshall duo charged with misdemeanor battery; will play tonight vs. UAB
HUNTINGTON - Two Marshall University men's basketball players were charged Tuesday with misdemeanor battery and summoned to court.
The players, junior guard Shaquille Johnson and freshman guard DeAndre Kane, will participate in the Thundering Herd's home game against UAB tonight at 7. A court date for the two has not been set.
Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick and first-year Coach Tom Herrion released a joint statement in response to the charges filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court.
"We take this matter very seriously, as we do all situations that involve our student-athletes," the statement said. "We have looked into this and are aware of the circumstances. We have every confidence in the legal system and we are allowing the legal process to take its course.
"These young men are innocent until proven guilty and we are treating them accordingly."
The criminal complaints charge the players in connection with an altercation outside of a Huntington bar in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 30.
Marshall defeated Memphis, 85-70, at the Henderson Center on the night of Jan. 29.
The complaints state that the incident unfolded when Johnson, Kane and several of their teammates tried to skip to the front of the line outside of a bar in the 1300 block of 4th Avenue in Huntington. The players allegedly pushed other patrons out of the way and the victim asked the players to stop.
The complaints charge that the players then retaliated and "according to the victim, (Johnson) grabbed him around the neck in a choke hold, while (Kane) and another player punched him several times."
None of the other players were identified in the complaints.
The 20-year-old Johnson from Jacksonville, Fla., is the Herd's fourth-leading scorer (9.7 points per game) and has started 15 of 22 games for Marshall this season. He served a mandatory one-game suspension following an ejection for reportedly throwing a punch at the groin of a James Madison player during a game in Harrisonburg, Va., on Dec. 22.
Kane is a 21-year-old from Pittsburgh who has started all 23 games for Marshall this season. He leads the Herd in scoring (15.9) and averages 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Herrion dismissed senior Antonio Haymon on Nov. 6 after Haymon's second arrest in a two-month span. Haymon was suspended indefinitely in September after a misdemeanor DUI charge, and then dismissed after a felony charge of brandishing in November. Haymon served a 14-day jail sentence and is exhausting his collegiate basketball eligibility at NAIA program Lee University, where he averages 14.5 points per game.
Marshall officials said there would be no further comment until the legal proceedings involving Johnson and Kane have concluded.
Contact sportswriter Chuck McGill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.