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Four LIU players reinstated following brawl

Long Island University forward Boyd shoots over Michigan State University's Green and Payne during their men's NCAA college basketball game in Columbus

Long Island University forward Julian Boyd (42) shoots over Michigan State University defenders Draymond Green (23) and Adreian Payne during their men’s NCAA college basketball game in Columbus, Ohio, March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)


Long Island announced in a Monday afternoon release that four men’s basketball players involved in an on-campus brawl have been reinstated and will be suspended for the first two Northeast Conference games of the 2012-13 season.

The team’s top three scorers, seniors Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner, along with redshirt sophomore Troy Joseph will also be placed on probation by the school, all stemming from a Sept. 15 brawl with members of the school’s track and field team. All four were charged with third-degree assault.

“The University has concluded its investigation and has heard the appeals of the four members of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. After a thorough review, the University has lifted the suspensions of the student-athletes and has placed them on probation,” LIU Athletic Director John Suarez said in a release. “In addition to sanctions implemented by the University, the Athletic Department has suspended the four players for the first two Northeast Conference games of the 2012-13 season.”

This is good new for the Blackbirds and coach Jack Perri, who returns a bulk of their squad from last season’s NEC tournament championship team that lost to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

As a whole, LIU gets back 46.9 points and 19.3 rebounds from it’s 2011-12 team in Garner, Boyd and Olasewere. Joseph has yet to play at LIU after a redshirt season as a true freshman and missing last season due to injury.

Kudos to the LIU administration for making the suspension count by suspending the players for the first two games of the conference season. LIU opens the regular season against Morehead State in the brand-new Barclays Center in town and at Lafayette on the road, but conference games in a one-bid league like the NEC matter more, so these suspensions could greatly affect the season for LIU if those two games are losses.

The NEC has yet to announce the conference schedule.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.