COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Three days after a weekend altercation left his
top scorer with a broken jaw, Missouri basketball coach Mike
Anderson has suspended five players indefinitely.
In a statement from the university, Anderson declined to
indicate the reason for the discipline, calling the infractions a
violation of team rules.
But the move comes as Columbia police verified Tuesday that
several teammates were with senior guard Stefhon Hannah when he was
attacked outside the downtown nightclub Athena early Sunday
morning. The injury could cause Hannah to miss the rest of the
Suspended from Wednesday's home game against Nebraska, and
possibly beyond, are senior guard Jason Horton and forwards
Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield and Leo Lyons. Butterfield and
Brown also are seniors; Lyons is a junior. Each is either a starter
or a key reserve.
Hannah, who returned home to Chicago after surgery, also is
"I am very disappointed in the actions of these young men,"
Anderson said. "We have defined team rules and when those rules
aren't followed, our guys must be held accountable for their
Sgt. Ken Hammond, supervisor of the city's major crimes unit,
didn't identify the players who accompanied Hannah, but noted that
"there were numerous other players there."
"We have received information that other players were
present," he said.
Anderson implemented what he called a "zero-tolerance" policy
after junior forward DeMarre Carroll -- his nephew -- was shot in the
ankle outside another Columbia nightclub over the summer. Police
said Carroll was a bystander trying to break up a fight.
Along with the injuries suffered by Hannah and Carroll, three
other Tiger players have been involved in off-court violence or
misconduct since Anderson was hired less than two years ago.
One of those was Butterfield, who was arrested on charges of
third-degree domestic assault for allegedly punching an
ex-girlfriend. He was suspended before the season started but was
reinstated after missing one exhibition game and an intrasquad
Butterfield has since pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of
disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor, and was given a six-month
suspended sentence and two years of probation. He also was ordered
to attend 20 hours of anger management classes.
Kalen Grimes, the school's leading rebounder and starting center
last season, was dismissed from the team after being arrested for
hitting a man in the face with the butt of a shotgun in St. Louis
And last February, reserve guard Mike Anderson Jr., the coach's
son, was suspended from the team after a drunken-driving arrest but
was later reinstated.
Anderson has said the specifics of his disciplinary policy are
an internal matter. But in an interview with the Columbia Daily
Tribune, junior guard Matt Lawrence elaborated on the new team
According to Lawrence, the team has an 11 p.m. weeknight curfew
and a midnight curfew on weekends. The curfew was initially set at
9 p.m. after Carroll's shooting but was extended at the start of
the school year. Team rules also forbid players from visiting
certain bars or clubs, he said.
The manager of Nikai Mediterranean Grill, which is next to the
nightclub, told the AP that Hannah and an unspecified number of
teammates ate at the Greek restaurant before the player was
Police said that 20 to 30 people were outside the nightclub when
they arrived after the assault, but that none of the observers
provided any details about the fight. Hannah told police he was hit
by an unknown object by at least one person he could not identify.
The assault happened just hours after the Tigers returned from a
66-62 victory at Colorado, the team's first road win this season.
Hannah had a key steal in the final minutes to seal the win.
Hannah leads the Tigers (12-8, 2-3) in scoring with a 14.7-point
average and in assists with 5.1 per game, as well as in steals and
minutes played. He was released from University Hospital on Monday
after successful surgery to repair his jaw. The junior college
transfer also led Missouri in scoring and assists last year.
The scene of his attack is well known to Columbia police, who
have received more than 100 calls in the past year about fights,
assaults, shots being fired and other disturbances at the downtown
The city is trying to suspend Athena's liquor license because of
frequent police calls to the club.
"We've had nothing but problems there since Day One," Hammond
said. The club's owner did not return telephone message seeking
Athena, which has been open for about four years, also is a
popular hangout for Missouri athletes. Lyons and Missouri football
safety William Moore, who are rap musicians, have performed there.
And the club's MySpace Web page has featured a photo showing
Butterfield, Lyons, Hannah and teammate Keon Lawrence, as well as
former teammate Marcus Watkins, a first-year graduate assistant and
son of associate head coach Melvin Watkins. The photo is undated.