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Posted on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

EMU basketball player James Still suspended after pleading guilty to felony assault

By Pete Cunningham

The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team will be without James Still for its game on Friday against Eastern Illinois and possibly the rest of the season after the 6-10 junior forward pleaded guilty to felony assault on Tuesday in Rhode Island.


James Still

The charge stemmed from an incident in April 2010 when Still, then a freshman at Providence College, and Providence teammate Johnnie Lacy attacked a fellow student, Yerkin Abdrakhmanovon, on campus. Still, 21, and Lacy were subsequently kicked off of Providence's team and suspended from the school. Abdrakhmanovon suffered serious injuries as a result of the assault including a broken nose and eye socket.

According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, Lacy took a plea deal in May and will serve three years of a 10-year sentence. Still rejected a plea deal in May, but on Tuesday pleaded guilty in court. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8.

EMU released a statement on Friday announcing Still's suspension from game competition. Still had played a total of 28 minutes in Eastern's first two games scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds.

"The Eastern Michigan University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics was aware of the matter when Still was admitted to the University in the fall of 2012 based upon numerous positive recommendations and after he had earned an associate degree from Henry Ford Community College," the statement reads. "EMU continues to monitor the situation, but following University policy no further comment will be made on the ongoing legal process."

After leaving Providence, Still, a Detroit native, enrolled at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn where he averaged 15.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 5.2 blocked shots last season.

EMU's student athlete policy handbook states that an athlete charged with a felony is to be suspended from practice and playing until the charges are dropped, dismissed or otherwise resolved and that any athlete convicted of a felony is to be permantly dismissed from the team, the Free Press reported.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report. Pete Cunningham covers sports for Contact him at Contact him on Twitter @petcunningham.


Chase Ingersoll

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

Keep in mind that these schools claim to want "diversity" but they will then bring in students who come from homogeneous subcultures that look at diversity as a rhetorical means to revenue and not as a principle to build bridges of relationships between different groups of people. They probably did not hang with people from outside the their athletic culture, outside their socio-economic background, or outside their race. The result is an antipathy towards people who don't have a connection to any of their groups - a non-athletic, probably wealthy, white foreigner, and a resentment that is stoked in many ways until it finally explodes on whomever happens to be there. Very sad.

Pete Cunningham

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 3:39 a.m.

Eastern Michigan announced that James Still has been dismissed from the basketball team early Friday evening:


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 12:39 a.m.

OK - the Freep says he is dimissed from the team?|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s


Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

I am sure all 200 of EMU's fans will be disappointed he is sitting out.

Barb's Mom

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

"any athlete convicted of a felony is to be permantly dismissed from the team," So because he plead guilty he wasn't permanently dismissed from the team? Why not? He is guilty if he plead guilty.

greg, too

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Yeah, that one is hard to explain. And why did they recruit a player who was booted out of another school for felonious assault? Was he just trying to see if he could get a half season out of him before the guy went away for 5-10? From the Providence Executive VP. "This serious and random assault violates all standards of conduct that Providence College expects of its students and is contrary to our deepest values." I guess EMU athletics has a much different standard. Is this the great recruiting the new coach brings? Is he also hitting the state pens to see who is getting out early on parole and seeing they have any eligibility left?


Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

OK crack reporter, what was the motive for the attack?


Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

Well 2000, I am curious as why some guy who is 6'10 and his buddy would feloniously assualt another. Was it a robbery? Racially motivated? Drunk? Or just out to prove their manhood?


Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

You can click on the link and read about the 2010 attack. I think reporter wasn't concerned about motive or reasoning of the attack. Would that make a difference to this story anyway? No.

Pete Cunningham

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

We don't have those details at this time, but are working to find out.