November 16, 2012 in Division I
This shouldn’t come as a shock considering the events of earlier this week when he pled guilty to a felony, but James Still has been kicked off the Eastern Michigan basketball team. From the EMU news release:
The Eastern Michigan University Department of Athletics policy on student-athlete discipline states the following: “Any student-athlete convicted of or pleading no contest to a felony charge or a gambling or game fixing charge under Michigan law or any other jurisdictional equivalent shall be permanently dismissed from the team.”
Accordingly, James Still is dismissed from team activities. The student-athlete discipline policy allows for an appeal process should the student athlete so choose.
Federal privacy regulations prevent the University from speaking specifically to the situation involving Mr. Still’s admission to the University. However, EMU takes the safety of its campus seriously and has an admissions process that balances the safety and security of campus with the goal of providing an opportunity to individuals who have made mistakes in the past.
A student who indicates that they have criminal charges pending against him or her is not automatically precluded from admission to the University. An Admissions Review Board reviews their application and makes a determination regarding admission.
That’s not the whole story, though. Still was originally just suspended from the team earlier today. Then, as Eagle Totem points out, the university seemingly needed a refresher on its own policy, which the Detroit Free Press provided, and Eastern amended its original statement to say the school was in fact dismissing Still instead of suspending him.
Obviously, Still has bigger issues right now than his basketball future to worry about. As for Eastern, it seems strange, considering Still’s legal situation, that they even admitted him in the first place. Someone from the school should definitely clarify how that happened, though I doubt any light will be shed on it. It seems like somewhere along the way, some key people in the program didn’t do their homework.