A Division II college basketball player was suspended after he delivered a vicious punch to an opponent’s head during a game last weekend.
Isaiah Hill, a senior from Saint Leo University in Florida, was suspended for two games Monday following the punch to head of Nova Southeastern’s Nick Smith in a game Saturday, according to The Ledger.
In a video of the incident posted on social media, Hill is seen trying to make a cut from underneath the basket to the right wing. He delivered the shot to Smith’s head to break free. The clear foul was not called on the court. Smith was knocked down and suffered a black eye.
“Isaiah's conduct on the court is not an accurate representation of Saint Leo's core values,” Saint Leo athletic director Francis X. Reidy said in a statement. “Saint Leo University holds its students to high standards of moral and ethical conduct as a reflection of Benedictine values. Upon review of Isaiah's actions this past Saturday, he will not represent Saint Leo University in competition for the remainder of 2019.”
Jeffrey Senese, the president of Saint Leo University, initially tweeted in support of Hill and said the video shown on social media was taken out of context. The Ledger caught the tweet before it was deleted.
“Posting one out of context video when your team violently fouls, takes constant cheap shots and disrespects you in an unsportsmanlike manner every minute of the game is cowardly and weak! #SaintLeo.”
Senese later backtracked.
“After a careful review of Isaiah Hill's actions during the December 7 game against Nova Southeastern University, the university has suspended him from play for the remainder of 2019,” he said. “I support the decision of our coach and athletics administration. This type of conduct will not be tolerated. I am saddened by this event as this behavior does not reflect who we are at Saint Leo University and apologize for any comments that suggest otherwise.”
Hill will miss the games against Tampa and Walsh University.