posted on: Thursday April 15, 2010
Valerie Ferdon ’12, News Editor / Dan Ollquist ’10, Sports Editor, Emeritus
With all eyes pointed towards the Men’s basketball team, Head Coach Keno Davis was just as shocked as anyone else on campus by Johnny Lacey’s ’13 and James Still’s ’13 actions.Sergeant John Leyden, executive director of the Office of Safety and Security, said that Providence College Security received a call around 1:40 a.m. on the morning of Monday, April 12, reporting a confrontation on Eaton Street, just south of Huxley Avenue. After the Providence Police Department and the Providence Fire Department arrived on the scene Yerkin Abdrakmanov ’10 was transported to Rhode Island Hospital Trauma Center, after he was assaulted by Lacey and Still.There was a witness to the assault who gave the police a description of those who were involved, and based on that description, officials stopped three suspects near Golden Crust Pizza.”At that time, the police questioned the three suspects and took them back to the Providence Police headquarters where they all cooperated, gave statements as to their involvement, and two [Lacey and Still] of them were charged with felony assault,” said Leyden.The third suspect, also a PC student, was released. “According to the Providence Police, all acknowledged that Maury Mondy had no involvement [in the assault] and did not know what was taking place,” said Leyden.Lacy and Still were held at the Providence Police Department and arraigned on Monday morning on assault charges. The judge ordered them to be held on $10,000 surety bail, which comes out to be $1,000 cash to ensure that they appear at their trial. When they both failed to make bail immediately, they were sent to the Adult Correctional Institute of Rhode Island.Later Monday night, Still was able to post bail and was released. Early Wednesday afternoon, Lacy was able to post bail and was released. Both have been suspended from school.”Once we have completed our investigation, the Office of Student Conduct will hold a hearing and determine their future,” said Leyden.”My first reaction was concern,” said Davis. “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.”Davis, who was returning from a recruiting trip at the time of the incident, is now faced with the harsh reality of answering to critics throughout the Ocean State as well as the Providence College community. Knowing full well that measures need to be taken to ensure an incident like this never occurs again on the PC campus, Davis is vowing to re-think his policies towards running the team. Following the news early Monday morning, Davis met with his entire coaching staff as well as members of the team to discuss the severity of Still’s and Lacy’s assault charges as well as potential remedies for team rules going forward.”We had a team meeting that afternoon with Bob Driscoll and our entire staff and made sure that everyone was aware of how serious this incident was and how we would handle it as a team going forward,” said Davis. “We need to think about how we handle the program, ourselves in public, on the court, in the classroom…How can we take this negative and have something good result from it is going to be important for us moving forward.”The main source of contention amongst outraged students and Rhode Islanders was a perceived lack of discipline in the Friars’ basketball program. Since the time Keno has stepped on campus he has been viewed as being a “player’s coach.” This has certainly helped Davis lure some top incoming recruits but is now backfiring as members of the Providence College community are calling for more accountability and stricter rules for PC basketball players.This issue was brought to the forefront when former player Kyle Wright posted a note on his Facebook page in which he came down harshly on the way Davis has run the program. “Keno Davis from day 1 has established no type of order within his team,” said Wright in his note. “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 don’t have anything negative to say about Kyle Wright,” said Davis in response to Wright’s comments.