Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Controversy on the court. Morgan State’s head basketball coach is suspended, accused of hitting a player in the heat of the moment.
Mary Bubala takes a look at the investigation.
Witnesses say coach Todd Bozeman lashed out at No. 1 senior guard Larry Bastfield. It happened at Saturday’s game against South Carolina State, a game the Bears ended up winning.
“Some say he actually struck the student, others say it wasn’t that bad. He kinda gave him a little push,” said Clint Coleman, Morgan State spokesman.
One witness, Christopher Johnson, told WJZ’s media partner, the Baltimore Sun, he saw the coach punch the player in the face.
“It was pretty dramatic. There were a lot of people there who though the coach was out of line,” Johnson said.
Morgan State suspended Bozeman, and now the campus is reacting.
“I know students hold him in high regard. I have never heard anything like that before about the coach,” said Mouhamed Ba, Morgan State student.
“I know the MSU athletic department prides itself so whatever actions are taken it will be in the best interest of our student athletes and for Coach Bozeman,” said Danielle Scott, MSU assistant academic coordinator.
In a statement, Coach Bozeman said “it’s definitely overblown. I didn’t hit him.”
And the player involved, a Towson Catholic grad in his second year at Morgan, says it was just a bump.
Bastfield does not plan to press charges.
A three-judge panel is investigating what happened. It will talk with witnesses and review video tape from the game, which may show the incident.
Bozeman is due back on campus Wednesday to meet with athletic director.