Binghamton releases five players

Updated: September 26, 2009, 1:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Binghamton released five more basketball players on Friday, a day after star player Emanuel "Tiki" Mayben was arraigned on cocaine distribution charges and kicked off the team.

Coach Kevin Broadus announced that top players D.J. Rivera and Malik Alvin, plus Corey Chandler, Paul Crosby and David Fine, were released. Spokesman John Hartrick said in an e-mail that no players, staff, or administrators would be made available for further comment.

Hartrick did not return calls seeking comment.

Every five years, some program implodes in college basketball. Why it had to be Binghamton University I'll never understand.

-- Binghamton professor Dennis Lasser, as told to The New York Times

He told the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, however, that the five were released because "they are not toeing the line. Their attitude and behavior ... is not what we expect from our student-athletes."

School officials said Broadus was the one who decided to dismiss the players, who are allowed to remain in school. There were no specific reasons given for their release. The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that according to athletic director Joel Thirer, all of the men's basketball players had passed a recent drug screening.

In a statement, Broadus said: "There's only one captain steering this ship, and that's me. If any of the young men in our program don't respect the decisions that have been made or the rules we have in place, then they need to move on with their lives."

On Thursday, Mayben was arraigned in Troy on felony drug charges, and athletic director Joel Thirer later said Mayben had been permanently dismissed from the basketball program. A sealed indictment charged Mayben with selling cocaine twice on June 29 and police said they found 3.4 grams of cocaine on him when he was arrested on Wednesday.

[+] EnlargeMalik Alvin
Bob Donnan/US PresswireMalik Alvin, who averaged 11.5 points and 3.7 assists a game last season, would have been part of Binghamton's core.

Dennis Lasser, a professor at Binghamton's school of management and a former faculty athletic representative, told The New York Times: "Every five years, some program implodes in college basketball. Why it had to be Binghamton University I'll never understand."

Broadus signed a contract extension in June through the 2013-2014 season, on the heels of a season that featured the team's first-ever conference championship and NCAA tournament berth.

The Bearcats went 23-9 last season and won both the America East regular-season and tournament titles. They were 13-3 in league play and won a school-record 11 straight games before losing to Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Rivera was second in the America East in scoring last season but was left off the all-conference team in the voting by the league coaches because they were skeptical about his eligibility.

Mayben's arrest is the third legal problem for a player since Broadus took over the program in 2007.

Former player Miladin Kovacevic, who wasn't recruited by Broadus, left a classmate in a coma after a barroom brawl in May 2008. In November,

Alvin, a transfer student brought in by Broadus, was charged with stealing condoms from a Wal-Mart.

Binghamton is part of the State University of New York system, which is led by chancellor Nancy Zimpher, known to take a hard line on problems within a system's athletic programs.

She was president of the University of Cincinnati when men's basketball coach Bob Huggins was pressured to resign in 2005 after the program had a history of low graduation rates, suspensions and arrests of Huggins' players. Huggins also had a drunk driving conviction in 2004.

In a statement released before the five players were dismissed, Zimpher made it clear that she was not going to tread lightly in this job, either. " . . . in light of the most recent incident and other previous incidents related to the men's basketball team, I have requested [school] President [Lois] DeFleur to report on the immediate steps the campus is taking to address these serious issues."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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