Friday, September 2, 2011
Drake suspends two after shoplifting arrest
By Diamond Leung
Drake guard Rayvonte Rice, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, has been suspended indefinitely along with teammate Kurt Alexander after they were arrested Wednesday and charged with shoplifting, according to the Des Moines Register.
Rice averaged 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds and was named to the all-Missouri Valley Conference honorable mention and freshman team. He also led the Bulldogs in steals and blocked shots.
"We are aware that two members of our men's basketball team face allegations of petty shoplifting," athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb said in a statement to the paper. "The decision made by these young men is not reflective of the expectations of character and responsibility to which we hold all student-athletes."
The suspensions came after second-leading returning scorer Seth VanDeest had shoulder surgery in July that could force him to miss the season. Alexander is a senior, and another senior, forward Kraidon Woods, was also left off the team's recent tour of Australia and New Zealand because of academics.
The legal trouble for Rice is especially troubling, considering he is one of the bright young stars of the MVC. In Australia and New Zealand, he led the team again, averaging 20.5 points and five rebounds. It was only last September when President Obama praised a recruiting class headlined by Rice at a meet-and-greet at the home of Hatfield Clubb.
It was only a couple weeks ago when the team was relaxing in Sydney. Now the Bulldogs have a new issue to deal with.
UPDATE: The Des Moines Register reports Alexander and Rice allegedly shoplifted $50 worth of athletic socks.