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Posted on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 10:15 p.m.

UPDATE: Eastern Michigan kicks James Still off basketball team following felony plea

By Pete Cunningham

James Still has been dismissed from the Eastern Michigan men's basketball team, the university announced early Friday evening.

Still, 21, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to felony assault in Rhode Island in relation to 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.

Eastern Michigan policy on student-athlete discipline states that any student-athlete who is convicted of or pleads no contest to a felony charge be permanently dismissed from the team.


James Still

"Accordingly, James Still is dismissed from team activities," read a statement released from Eastern Michigan early Friday evening. "The student-athlete discipline policy allows for an appeal process should the student athlete so choose."

The school announced earlier in the day on Friday that Still had merely been suspended from game action. In the earlier statement the Eastern Michigan University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics stated it was were aware of Still's legal situation when he was admitted to school and that he, "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."

In the second statement released from the school on Friday, school officials said, "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."

Both Lacy and Still were kicked off of Providence's team in 2010 and suspended from school. Lacy took a plea deal in May of this year 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.

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 before enrolling at Eastern.

Still, a 6-10 junior forward, played a total of 28 minutes in Eastern's first two games, scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds. Still was suspended from game activities early on Friday and dismissed from the team later in the day.

Eastern Michigan defeated Eastern Illinois on Friday, 60-52.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.


Jeffersonian Liberal

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

If a thug can put an orange ball through a hoop we'll just look the other way.

Marcus Adams

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Time out. EMU KNEW Sills history but took him anyway? Does the name Orange Taylor III ring a bell? EMU can do better than that. Or should. After all, it's not as if basketball players from Detroit are an endangered species. If Sill was that good he wouldn't have had to go to Providence, HFCC before coming to EMU.


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

While I'm glad that EMU has this policy and followed through with it, why did they recruit a player who was kicked off a team and had a pending felony court case?


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

sounds like they really worked that kid over based on the injuries......he took the plea, so did he think that he could serve whatever time in the off season.......


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

Now I guess he can go on to stardom in the NBA.