<
>

Leading scorer avoids judicial board

NEW YORK -- St. John's guard Elijah Ingram has withdrawn from the
university, a week after he and five other teammates broke curfew to go to a strip club following a game in Pittsburgh.

Ingram, a sophomore who led the team in scoring, left on the same day that the St. John's judicial board suspended teammate Abe Keita from school for one year, the university announced Wednesday.

Both Ingram and Keita already were permanently suspended from the basketball team. Ingram's decision spared him from appearing before the judicial board.

A third teammate, Grady Reynolds, was expelled from St. John's
last week. Two other players were suspended from the basketball
team but remained in school, while another player still faced
unspecified lesser discipline.

The school is expected to announce its decision on Lamont Hamilton and Mohamed Diakite on Friday, Newsday (New York) reported.

University officials say Hamilton, a freshman forward, and Diakite, a senior center, do not face expulsion because they were not as involved in the sex-for-money deal as the three players who have already left the university, the paper reported Friday.

Hamilton and Diakite could be suspended for the season.

No announcement has been made regarding freshman Tyler Jones, the sixth player invovled in the scandal. Jones has missed two games, but has been practicing with the team, Newsday reported.

The players got in trouble following a 71-51 loss to No. 4
Pittsburgh on Feb. 4. A 38-year-old woman told police she was gang
raped by St. John's players she met at a strip club outside the
city.

No criminal charges were filed against the players, and the
woman -- Sherri Ann Urbanek-Bach -- said she made up the story after
the players refused to pay her $1,000 for sex, according to court
documents. She was charged with prostitution, attempted extortion
and filing fictitious reports.

The Red Storm have dealt with their share of troubles this
season. In early December, senior guard Willie Shaw, suspended
after being arrested for possession of marijuana, was dismissed
from the team.

On Dec. 19, Mike Jarvis became the first Big East coach to be
fired during a season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.