Eugene Lawrence III was a freshman basketball player at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. During a team trip to Spokane, Washington this week, Lawrence was arrested and charged with felony second-degree assault, following and incident where he hit woman, 20-year old Kayla Bray, in the face at team hotel on New Year’s Eve. Bray suffered a broken jaw and had to call 911 herself after Lawrence’s teammates refused to help her get to the hospital because it would violate team curfew. From 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:
According to the criminal complaint, [Tyler] Pannell heard “a loud ‘smack’ and saw that Bray, the victim, had been punched in the face,” and then “saw the defendant (Lawrence) leaving the room with a ‘smirk’ on his face.”
Another player, Noah Aguirre, told police he saw Bray “laughing and teasing the defendant and heard her say something about hitting her. He saw the defendant step towards the victim very quickly and punch her in the face. He observed the victim’s face start to swell and saw her scream and crying.”
If there is anything close to a good coming out of this story it is the example Hamline University is setting with the not-fucking-around approach they have taken with the handling of this “incident.” Lawrence has been dismissed from the team and suspended from the university. Head coach Nelson Whitmore has been suspended indefinitely, the team will forfeit its next game and the University is considering suspensions for 14 of its players. I suppose its easier to take these drastic measures when your team is 6-4 and a member of Division III’s Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, but this is still action that should be applauded.