Devendorf Suspended for Academic Year; Can Appeal & Play | Zagsblog
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Monday / December 4.
  • Devendorf Suspended for Academic Year; Can Appeal & Play

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    SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A Syracuse University judicial hearing board has ruled that starting guard Eric Devendorf violated the Student Code of Conduct after allegedly hitting a female student in the face.

    The board recommended that Devendorf, a 6-foot-4 junior, be suspended for the remainder of the academic year. He is expected to appeal the decision.

    Richard Kesnig, a lawyer who represents the female student, said the university faxed him the decision late Wednesday afternoon.

    Devendorf, 21, is the third-leading scorer for the No. 16 Orange, averaging 14.1 points and 3.1 assists. He missed most of last season with a torn knee ligament.

    Devendorf, of Bay City, Mich., must notify the university by 5 p.m. Thursday if he plans an appeal and then has five business days to respond. The university would then have 10 business days to review any appeal. The current semester ends this week.

    “I’d be shocked if he doesn’t appeal,” Kesnig said. “I’m very happy that the judicial system the university has in place took notice of this situation and held someone accountable for their actions, but I can’t say I’m happy or gleeing over this because it affects his life.”

    Kesnig said the ruling calls for a minimum suspension of one academic term. The University Appeals Board can modify the decision, reverse it, or order a new hearing, according to university rules.

    Devendorf was at practice Wednesday morning and university officials said they considered him to be still enrolled and eligible to play because the university’s judicial process was still ongoing. The Orange (8-0) host Long Beach State on Saturday.

    Coach Jim Boeheim said last month that he would respond to the charge if and when it was warranted.

    Kimberly Smith, a Syracuse University junior, said that Devendorf hit her with the heel of his hand in the lower right jaw at about 3 a.m. on Nov. 1. Smith, 20, encountered about 10-15 people walking toward her car, making it impossible to continue driving, according to a university public safety report.

    Smith stopped driving and several people in the crowd began kicking her car, according to the report. Smith said when she exited her vehicle Devendorf allegedly struck her, according to the report.

    William Sullivan, Devendorf’s lawyer, has said that Devendorf was defending himself from Smith, who he said was the aggressor. Devendorf raised his hand to defend himself, Sullivan has said.

    The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office has interviewed Smith, Devendorf and witnesses about the allegation. Any further action will be deferred, pending the outcome of the university hearing, according to District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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