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Friar freshmen suspended for remainder of season

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


The news for two freshman basketball players at Providence College isn’t good news.

Freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock, comprising coach Ed Cooley’s entire recruiting class for the 2013-14 school year, have been suspended from participating with the basketball team for the remainder of the current season. Austin and Bullock will be allowed to remain in school and practice with the team, if they choose to do so, but are not allowed to play in any games.

Austin and Bullock were originally suspended from game play on November 6th for team violations “and not upholding their responsibilities as student athletes,” according to a statement released by the school at that time. Without any definitive word as to the nature of the alleged transgressions committed by the two players, and with no criminal charges filed against either student, a review process has been completed through the school’s judicial system with the decision that both will remain ineligible.

Brandon Austin

The Providence College Office of Public Affairs, Community and Government Relations issued a statement early Monday evening. “Providence College is announcing today that freshmen Brandon Austin (Philadelphia, PA) and Rodney Bullock (Hampton, VA) will not compete in games for the College’s Men’s Basketball Team for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season. The two student-athletes will be able to practice with the team.”

Details of the transgressions committed by the two players have not been disclosed, and the College cited privacy laws that do not allow them to divulge any information about a student’s academic or disciplinary conduct without prior consent. However, the Rhode Island State Police and Providence police have reported they have not been contacted to investigate any criminal complaints on either of the two players.

Rodney Bullock

As a private institution, Providence College has the right to administer discipline in any way they see fit, and the school’s student handbook does contain the clause “disciplinary action may be taken whether or not criminal charges are filed and without regard to whether the conduct occurred on or off the Providence College campus.”

As for what comes next, Cooley told GoLocalProv he expects the two to return for practice Christmas night, and begin “working toward next year.”

Austin, a highly-recruited 6-6 guard and Bullock, a 6-7 forward, have largely been silent and not seen with the team for games at the Dunkin Donuts Center. They did travel to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam tournament in November, but did not play in the games or sit on the bench with the team. The only comments from either player since their suspension has come from Austin, who posted recently via Twitter “No matter how many times life knocks me down, I will get back up,” and “Others want to see you fail, don’t let them have what you want. It will hurt, it will take time, it will require dedication and sacrifice but it will be worth it. I will make a name for myself, I will be successful.”

The Friars currently stand at 10-2 on the season with one game remaining at UMass next Saturday before Big East play begins on December 31st. The loss of both players is another blow to a team already hurt by the loss of guard Kris Dunn due to a shoulder injury, leaving Providence short of depth in the backcourt. While the two players would be able to play for PC next fall, both Austin and Bullock retain the option of transferring immediately and becoming eligible to play at another school by next December…or they may stay and apply for a redshirt year to retain four years of eligibility at Providence.


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Well at last that's semi-closure. Blind take here is that the goal was always a season long suspension but process of confirming that took time. Good job by PC on bellichck like secrecy - but I really do wonder if media - other than those connected to the program - were/are really trying to get to the reason of if unlike the pros there is no such appetite. When ND QB was booted from school within 30 days there were multiple published reports that it was plagiarism. No named sources- later confirmed by the QB in an interview.

Not talking board like these - not looking for rumors etc - but ? here is should a reporter be trying to get to the bottom of this or is that out of bounds?

Comment #1 by Marty C on 2013 12 26

Weak article, when do you call out the administration? So bad they can't play, yet not bad enough they can practice?? Take the lead from GOLOCALs’ political/investigative teams and ask some tough questions. Can read the same article on a site that doesn’t claim to report news.

Comment #2 by doug waling on 2013 12 27

Doug, those questions have been asked. And thus far, not answered...or acknowledged...for the last several weeks, in fact. Guess you haven't been paying attention...

Comment #3 by John Rooke on 2013 12 27

John, At no point on GOLOCAL do I see where you have directly asked the administration that question and quoted their response or objection to responding (please reference if I’m wrong). At no point in any GOLOCAL article in regards to this subject do I see questions posed to the administration that reference their response or objection to a response (please reference if I’m wrong). Guess you haven’t been following your site’s reporting.

Comment #4 by doug waling on 2013 12 27

thank goodness we have you as a watchdog. clearly, you don't understand the dynamics here. no problem. trust me, people are doing what they should be. thanks for your concern...and for your interest.

Comment #5 by John Rooke on 2013 12 27

Here is an official comment from Steve Maurano, Asst. VP at PC, unchanged since the controversy began: "We appreciate that there has been quite a bit of interest in the situation involving our two freshmen basketball players. In that regard, we are fortunate to have so many people who are fans of our basketball program and who care about our institution.
"That being said, our players are students first and as such their privacy is protected by federal law. (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA). So I can't give you anything specific about their situation."

Comment #6 by John Rooke on 2013 12 27

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