Two players were suspended Saturday

Updated: October 16, 2003, 11:55 PM ET
Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. -- Arizona State football coach Dirk Koetter suspended two players after they were charged with aggravated assault and criminal trespassing, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The East Valley Tribune identified the pair as linebacker Barton Hammit and defensive end Matt Mason, who are accused in a beating that left another student with bruises and facial lacerations.

Hammit, a junior from Dallas, and Mason, a senior from Phoenix, allegedly entered the student's Tempe apartment by force early on Oct. 10 and began beating him.

Tempe spokesman Jeff Lane told the newspaper that Hammit, who lives in the same complex, was arrested after two women sent officers to the victim's apartment.

Hammit, booked into the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, also was charged with criminal damage.

Lane told the newspaper police had not been able to locate Mason, who fled the scene. Mason was charged with the felony assault charge and misdemeanor trespassing based on the student's identifying him as the second attacker.

The case has been sent to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

Koetter suspended the players before Saturday's 59-14 win over Oregon.

Hammit, a second-stringer, had registered five tackles in five previous games.

Mason, who played two years at Glendale Community College, saw limited action in 12 games last season and was demoted to the scout team this season.

The incident was the second involving Arizona State players this year.

Defensive end Nick Johnson, who was arrested July 28 for criminal damage and assault in a domestic violence case, was dismissed from the team last week. His legal case is still pending.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press