March 11, 2013

USC suspends players after Spokane brawl

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The University of Southern California has suspended two basketball players indefinitely following allegations of their involvement in a melee in downtown Spokane early Sunday morning.

Spokane police continue to investigate a series of fights in the downtown area that reportedly sent four people to the hospital.

Witness reports claimed two of those involved were members of the University of Southern California’s men’s basketball team.

Today USC announced the suspension of 7-foot-1, 260-pound James Blasczyk and 7-foot, 255-pound Dewayne Dedmon from all team activities because of a violation of team rules.

“Separately, we are aware of the Spokane investigation into an alleged incident involving those players and we are cooperating with the authorities to determine the facts,” Interim Coach Bob Cantu said in a statement. “Until we learn all the facts, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The USC Trojans were staying in Spokane following a 76-51 loss to Washington State University in Pullman.

Noel Macapagal, an employee and former owner of The Wave Island Sports Grill and Sushi Bar, said fellow employees called him at about 1 a.m. Sunday saying they needed help because several of them had been assaulted at a nearby lounge.

“We had a person knocked out cold, a female employee who suffered a broken nose and another employee with a broken jaw as well,” Macapagal said.

Macapagal said the fracas apparently started when words were exchanged between the players and an employee of The Wave inside the Marquee Lounge at 522 W. Riverside Ave.

“The basketball players followed this individual and sucker-punched him. While he was out cold, the player punches the girl, who suffered a broken nose,” Macapagal said.

The fight broke up, but Macapagal joined the employees and they later located the players at the Satellite Diner at 425 W. Sprague Ave.

“Another fracas breaks out with the 7-footer. His friend, another 7-footer, comes out of the Satellite and proceeds to start hitting people in the crowd,” Macapagal said. “One victim got knocked out who had nothing to do with this situation. And the player was kicking the guy who was down.”

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