UTEP suspends Williams for punching teammate

Updated: December 7, 2005, 5:34 PM ET
Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas -- Leading scorer Jason Williams has been suspended indefinitely by UTEP for punching a teammate during practice and breaking his jaw.

Williams, a senior forward, hit freshman guard Stefon Jackson during a "very competitive practice" Tuesday, UTEP coach Doc Sadler said.

"It happened so fast, I don't think anyone knows what happened," Sadler said Wednesday. "When I feel like this basketball team is ready to move forward with Jason, then that's what we'll do."

Sadler said there were no other fights or problems during the two-hour practice.

Williams, a three-year starter in every game since transferring from Kilgore College in 2003, averages 15.4 points a game for the Miners (4-1). It was unclear when Jackson will return, meaning two of UTEP's top four scorers are out indefinitely. Jackson averages 11.4 points.

Sadler said Jackson is expected to have surgery later this week. Jackson had no hard feelings and didn't want Williams suspended, Sadler said.

The coach said Williams has apologized to the team.

"Jason is not making any excuses," Sadler said. "He just said, 'Coach, I don't know what happened...it just happened.'"


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press