A minor locker room dispute in a college basketball program turned violent, and the players’ ensuing cover-up has resulted in suspensions and embarrassment for an already struggling team.
On Feb. 14, in the midst of a 1-9 slump, the University of Main men’s basketball team gathered in its locker room. According to police records obtained by the Bangor Daily News, senior forward Marko Pirovic was playing music when junior guard Wes Myers asked him to turn it off.
Pirovic refused, and he and Myers began to fight. Both threw punches before Myers landed a blow to Pirovic’s face, breaking his jaw and dislodging several teeth, according to the Portland Press Herald. Three other teammates were present when the fight occurred.
Rather than tell the team’s coach and trainer what happened, the players agreed to lie and say Pirovic had fallen in the shower. However, when police were called, they immediately noticed Pirovic’s hair was dry and he was in sweatpants, according to documents posted online by Deadspin.
Pirovic was transported to a nearby hospital, where he underwent surgery. Per the Bangor Daily News, his jaw will be wired shut for six to eight weeks while he recovers. Meanwhile, Myers changed his story and told head coach Bob Walsh the truth. Walsh then notified campus police, who had Pirovic write out a statement, in which he said he did not want to press charges against Myers.
“At this point, I want this all to be over with and I’m not looking to pursue this case in any way,” Pirovic wrote, per the Bangor Daily News.
Walsh suspended Pirovic and Myers, as well as the three players who witnessed the incident indefinitely before reinstating the bystanders Tuesday. Pirovic and Myers remain suspended and may still be subject to discipline according to the university’s student conduct policy, per the Bangor Daily News.
Both Pirovic and Myers were regular fixtures on the court for the Black Bears, who enter their final game of the season this weekend with a 6-24 record. Myers leads the team in scoring and steals, while Pirovic is top six on the team in scoring, rebounding and steals.
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