Posts Tagged ‘James Still’

If you haven’t already seen it, the latest edition of the COWL came out on Thursday.  The cover

Dan Nieto, COWL

story was, Coach Reacts to Players’ Transgressions. The link is posted, but we will give some of the highlights here.  Coach Keno had this to say about the incident:

“My first reaction was concern.  Concern for the individual that was on the receiving end of this incident and it continues to be that first and foremost. In the midst of this tragedy, my emotions have become an array of disappointment, frustration, and now it’s more of self-reflection for myself, the coaching staff, and the team.”

We thought it was interesting that Coach Keno also went on to address Kyle Wright’s facebook note.  Coach Keno said this to the COWL:

“I don’t have anything negative to say about Kyle Wright.  I wish him the best and hope that he has a bright future ahead of him. But I will say in regards to what Kyle and others have said, we are looking at the way we handle our business and we’re always trying to improve. I don’t want the public perception of Providence College Basketball and the college as a whole to be marked by the unfortunate actions of a few team members. We will try to do the best we can moving forward and try to regain the trust of the fans and the people of Rhode Island.”

Here’s the deal.  Coach Keno has been catching a lot of heat for this whole incident.  People admit that he can not be responsible for everything his players do, as he is not the babysitter; however, people are really getting on him for his recruiting.  You could debate who has been brought in in Keno’s only class to arrive on campus as of yet, and whether they should be here or not, but this is what we think.

In basketball there are plenty of marginal people that are awarded scholarships.  That doesn’t make it right but anybody who follows college basketball just a little bit knows that.  Just look around at all the bad that happened last season in the BIG EAST.  West Virginia, and Catholic universities Seton Hall and Villanova all had notable problems.  Just recently problems popped up at St. John’s.  Nationally, Kansas, Tennessee, and many other schools had problems that arose during the season.  It would be great if you could get Academic All-Americans, who are great kids, and great basketball players but that is just not the way it works.  Even Duke doesn’t always get that.  When you recruit a kid you can only know him to a certain extent.  It would be great if you knew his entire history, but you can’t.  You have to go on what his coaches say.  What his mentors say, and what those around the kid say.  And look back and check Johnnie Lacy’s and James Still’s criminal records and get back to us with what you find.  Neither one was a particularly great student, but that is certainly no indicator to a coach that they are going to senselessly beat up another student.

Don’t mistake us for in anyway trying to defend Lacy or Still.  And we aren’t giving Keno free pass either, but we think all things considered he is not handling the situation poorly.  He has just finished his third year as a head coach, and this is a difficult thing to deal with.  We think he acknowledges that there are some issues in the program and it seems like he is going to try his best to address them.  But for people like Kyle Wright and Jim Donaldson to shift so much of the blame to Keno is a little bit much for our liking.

We are thrilled that Joe Young, Gerard Coleman, Ron Giplaye, and Naadir Tharpe have all signed on with Providence College, but we also hope they are good people and do nothing even remotely similar to what happened earlier this week.  And give Coach Keno a chance.  Let the man make changes and improve the program before you throw him under the bus. (And this is not a response to the article in the COWL which we thought was well written and gave the facts, but more to talk around campus and the always insightful commentary of Jim Donaldson…)

We were a little slow in seeing this, but it looks like former player Kyle Wright has written a facebook note shedding some light on the events that happened early Monday morning.  In the note Wright essentially blames Coach Keno and his staff for a lack of structure and discipline within the team, which allowed for the horrible events that took place to happen.  Take a look at it for yourself and see what you think…

What providence friar fans and people around the school fail to realize is how this horrible event was even able to take place. Why were these players comfortable enough to be out on a sunday night doing what they please. The answer is the team and organization they are a part of. Keno Davis from day 1 has established no type of order within his team. He has distanced himself from his players and made it clear that he is not concerned with actions taken off of the basketball court. The lack of structure, leadership, and any type of foundation created an environment in which his players felt as though they were capable of getting away with anything. I know this first hand because I was apart of this team until I quit. It is sad that something like this had to even occur when any type of stable structure and leadership from the HEAD COACH would have sufficed. This Providence coaching staff is not preparing these boys to take on the world and become men, rather they are creating an environments which fosters childish behavior and encourages a lack of respect. These boys came to Providence Colle[g]e to improve as basketball players, students, and become men and now they may be leaving as felons. With that said I am a firm believer in second chances and hopefully no one involved with this incident will be scarred for life. My best wishes go out to Yerkin Abdrakhmanov and his family.

So we would really like to know what readers think about this.  We read it trying to keep in mind that Kyle had a tough season where he didn’t get the playing time he wanted, and didn’t make too much of the limited time he was given.  He is coming from the point of view of somebody who decided to leave the team and the school some time ago.  But this seems a lot like redirecting the blame.  We think that Coach Keno and his staff definately had some short comings and there are things that need to be adjusted within the program, but to blame the incident on the Keno Davis is crazy and irresponsible.  The facts are Johnnie Lacy and James Still made about as bad a decision as you can make.  They were out when they shouldn’t have been, and did something totally inexcusable.  We understand that Kyle is not happy with the team and the coaches, and that as a teammate he will cut his teammates a little slack, but this is a little much in our opinion.  We agree that Lacy and Still came to PC to play basketball, participate as students, and become men, but the fact that they left as felons is 100% there own fault.

Coach Keno Davis released the following statement:

“Early this morning an incident occurred on Eaton Street that involved Providence College basketball player James Still and a student-athlete that was formerly on our team Johnnie Lacy.  I am deeply troubled and disappointed by their actions. As a result of this incident James Still has been suspended indefinitely from the men’s basketball team pending the on-going investigation”

Athletic Director Bob Driscoll said this:

“Violence towards other individuals will not be tolerated by our athletic department.  Our prayers for a speedy recovery go out to the Providence College student who was injured.”

Nothing too ground breaking here.  We were hoping for a little more, but the whole thing is still pretty new, and we would expect the school and the program to better gather their information before a larger statement is issued.  Also make no doubt about it, as things stand now, we don’t want Still putting on the Friars uniform ever again.

Corey Bourassa ProJo.com has reported that both Johnnie Lacy and James Still were arrested early Monday morning on account of assault.  At appropriately 1:00am the Providence Police  responded to an assault where they found the 21 year old senior student, Yerkin Abdrakhmanovon (from Kazakhstan) on the ground near Eaton St. and Huxley Ave. with blood on his face.  A witness identified Johnnie Lacy and James Still as the assailants.  The two were brought into the station for questioning and were arraigned this morning.  Both are charged with one account of felony assault and bail has been set at $10,000 with surety, or $1,000 cash.  As of this morning neither Lacy or Still has posted bail.  The student suffered a broken nose and eye socket and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital.

Providence College has announced that both players have been suspended from the school.  The suspension will last until Providence College completes its own investigation.  They will have to leave campus immediately and will not be able to finish their academic requirements for this semester.  Providence College Executive Vice President Kenneth Sicard issued these words:

“This serious and random assault violates all standards of conduct that Providence College expects of its students and is contrary to our deepest values.  Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the Providence College student who was injured.”

There was another player with Lacy and Still who was released and not charged with any crimes who remains unnamed.

First we would like to wish Yerkin Abdrakhmanovon a speedy recovery.  And now we would just like to rant about how terribly disappointed we are with this whole thing.  Last off season was a rough one for the BIG EAST.  You had you drug arrests, assault arrests, school suspensions, academic suspensions, scandals with coaches, etc.  Luckily we were always proud to say that that wasn’t us, not Providence College.  But this off season it seems that we beat everybody else to the off the court issues.  This is embarrassing and shameful.  Although it is only two students on campus it reflects back very poorly on the school and the program and that is not acceptable.

Johnnie Lacy just had to stay out of trouble for a month and then he was gone.  Instead he is going out with a destructive bang.  And James Still really surprised us.  He is well liked on campus and is not usually the type that starts things up, but last night he was.  Granted we do not know any of the details of what happened, what was said, or what, if anything, provoked Lacy and Still to beat up another student, but we seriously doubt that anything would have warranted the beating Abdrakhmanovon received.  Instead, it was two immature freshman, out and about later than they should have been for a Monday getting into trouble.  And there is no doubt that what Lacy and Still did was idiotic and deserves punishment.  We are glad that the school has suspended them already.  And while Lacy is obviously already leaving, we wouldn’t mind seeing James Still removed from Providence College as well.  Here at PFB as you all know we like to support this team, and as supporters of this team, and the new program that is being built here at Providence we can’t support someone like James Still back on the team.  A message needs to be sent that as Vice President Sicard said in his quote above, this violates all standards of conduct that Providence College expects of its students and is contrary to our deepest values.

There has been no word from Coach Keno just yet regarding the situation.  Things are still early but we will try to keep everybody updated if there are any more developments.

In the mean time let us know what you are thinking, or feel free to rant with a comment.