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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quinnipiac's Johnson, Azotam plead not guilty

A pair of Quinnipiac men’s basketball players plead not guilty to assault and breach of peace charges in Monday’s arraignment at Meriden Superior Court.
Ike Azotam, a 20-year-old sophomore forward and James Johnson, 21, a senior point guard and the team’s leading scorer last year, are scheduled to return to court Oct. 24 for a judicial pretrial.
Quinnipiac officials did not comment on any measures the school has taken in the situation. Men’s basketball can begin practice on Oct. 15 and it is unknown whether Johnson or Azotam will be allowed to participate but the school said initially that both students were still members of the team pending a university investigation. School officials also declined to say whether the pair have been suspended from school or placed on academic probation.
The pair’s lawyer, Thomas Lynch, told the Quinnipiac Chronicle that he thinks Azotam, 20, was “misidentified” in the police’s report and that Johnson, 21, was assaulted the night before the incident. The police report stated that Azotam and Johnson struck students who were attempting to break up a fight.
Police said that Azotam and Johnson were responsible for striking two fellow students in the face. The first student, who police said was assaulted by Azotam, was treated for his injuries at the university’s medical center. The second, who police siad was assaulted by Johnson, suffered minor facial injuries.
The school released a statement saying both players have been cooperating with authorities. Under the school’s judicial policy, any sanctions would follow an investigation by a review board.
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