The rumors had been kicking around for a few days: Shamel Bratton, the third-leading scorer in Virginia lacrosse history, had been dismissed from the Cavaliers program.
Dom Starsia, addressing reporters ahead of the team's game against Pennsylvania on Saturday, dodged the issue indicating that there'd be a press release on the issue as soon as the situation warranted it.
Apparently rightthisverysecond is the warranted time:
Virginia men’s head lacrosse coach Dom Starsia announced today (April 29) that senior midfielder Shamel Bratton has been dismissed from the team for the violation of team policies.
“I want to wish Shamel the very best in his future endeavors,” Starsia said. “He has made many contributions to the program. At the same time, there are standards of behavior within the framework of the team that we expect to be met by all of our student-athletes. Failure to do so on a consistent basis has resulted in the loss of the privilege of being a member of this team.”
Whether anyone ever officially goes on record indicating what the violations were is relatively unnecessary. One of the top-two offensive midfielders in 2011 will no longer ply his trade on the collegiate pitch, forced to idly watch his (former) teammates attempt to salvage a season that is approaching the point of tailspin.
The dismissal of Bratton also puts a heavy load on the team's remaining midfielders.
Rhamel Bratton* and Collin Briggs will be asked to contribute more offense, as will guys like Chris LaPierre, Rob Emery, Nick O'Reilly, and John Haldy.
Good thing the NCAA Tournament starts in two weeks, right?
* I leave this without comment.
UPDATE: Yeah, well, Rhamel is suspended indefinitely. Fun times when two-thirds of your first midfield goes the way of the Dodo.