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Lannon criticizes actions by Temple, A-10

PHILADELPHIA -- The president of Saint Joseph's on Tuesday
accepted the actions of Temple and coach John Chaney in response to
a hard foul that injured a Hawks player, but criticized the school
and the Atlantic 10 over the way the situation was handled.

Chaney suspended himself for one game as punishment for ordering
rough play from one of his players that led to senior forward John
Bryant breaking his arm in a fall when he was fouled.

When the extent of Bryant's injury was known, Temple extended
the suspension to the three games remaining in the regular season.
On Monday, Chaney announced he would keep himself out of the
Atlantic 10 tournament. The conference agreed with each of the
moves.

"The overwhelming feeling within the Saint Joseph's community
is that the remedies first announced by Coach Chaney and Temple
University did not fully address the severity of what occurred,"
the Rev. Timothy Lannon said in a statement.

"We believe it is the role of institutional and conference
officials, not solely an individual coach, to demonstrate the
necessary leadership in upholding the league's code of conduct and
assuring the safety of student-athletes in competition," he said.

Chaney sent in a player he described as a "goon" against Saint
Joseph's last week in response to what he felt were illegal screens
being set by the Hawks. Chaney said he sent in seldom-used Nehemiah
Ingram to "send a message" when he thought the officials were not
calling what be believed to be illegal screens.

"It bears repeating that there was nothing in the conduct of
SJU coaches or student-athletes intended to bring harm to an
opponent," Lannon said.

Chaney has apologized to Bryant and his family and offered to
pay any medical bills. Lannon called Chaney's meeting with Bryant's
family "appropriate."

Saint Joseph's officials had refused to comment, only offering a
tersely worded statement Saturday that said "a line was crossed."
Lannon said the school was moving toward reconciliation.

Lannon said coach Phil Martelli, Bryant and his family would not
comment again. Representatives from Temple and the A-10 both
declined comment Tuesday.

The Hawks beat George Washington 71-56 on Tuesday night to win
the outright conference title. The conference tournament starts
March 9 in Cincinnati.