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St. Bonaventure Suspends Star Guard Green

December 28, 2003

CLEVELAND (AP) _ St. Bonaventure suspended star guard Marques Green for Saturday night’s game against Kent State for violating an undisclosed team policy.

First-year Bonnies coach Anthony Solomon would not comment on why he disciplined Green, his leading scorer and playmaker who averages 22.3 points per game.

School spokesman Steve Mest said Green was not available for comment after he watched his teammates lose 74-46 to Kent State in the Rock-N-Roll Shootout.

Green is expected to return for a Jan. 3 game at Boston College.

St. Bonaventure, whose men’s basketball program was rocked by a scandal last season, handed out a release before the game on Green’s suspension.

``This is a matter that has been handled maturely by everyone, and it will remain within the structure of the team,″ Solomon said in the statement.

Solomon deferred several questions about Green’s status by saying the statement would suffice as his only comment.

Ahmad Smith, who started in Green’s place and scored 10 points, said the team missed the 5-foot-7 senior guard’s scoring as well as his leadership.

Green could have transferred like two others did from last year’s St. Bonaventure team, but the Atlantic 10′s leading scorer wanted to help restore the school’s reputation.

Smith, who was a freshman during last season’s trouble, said Solomon’s suspension of Green should be looked at as a positive.

``I think he’s implying and teaching us to be better people and not just basketball players, but about being good people,″ Smith said.

St. Bonaventure’s well-documented scandal began with the Bonnies forfeiting two games and being banned from their conference tournament when players boycotted after one of their teammates was declared ineligible.

In addition, coach Jan van Breda Kolff was fired and the school’s athletic director and president resigned. All three were identified by a school investigation that found the program lacking institutional control.

The scandal turned tragic in August when, William Swan, chairman of the school’s trustees, committed suicide, in part because of a belief he had let down his alma mater.

The NCAA is expected to decide in January whether to punish the program further.

Solomon, an assistant coach for three years at Notre Dame before taking over the Bonnies, is trying to restore respect in the school’s storied basketball program.

His players wear T-shirts saying, ``Marching Forward. Together,″ the coach’s mantra and message as he rebuilds the Bonnies.

Green scored at least 20 points in six of St. Bonaventure’s nine games. He scored a career-high 43 points in an overtime loss at Niagara on Dec. 17.

Green had started 66 straight games before Saturday’s benching.

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