Home Sports NMSU player suspended for punching foe in face

NMSU player suspended for punching foe in face

NMSU player suspended for punching foe in face


New Mexico State forward Robert Carpenter was suspended indefinitely by the Aggies on Friday, a day after he punched Liberty forward Shiloh Robinson in the face and was ejected from Thursday night’s game.

New Mexico State said the decision to suspend Carpenter from all team activities begins immediately.

“His actions do not align with the standards we uphold at New Mexico State, and we believe it is important to ensure that any actions contrary to our principles will not be tolerated,” the school said in a statement.

NCAA rules require a one-game suspension from all team-related activities for such altercations, but the program said it would enact the additional discipline to “emphasize that the Aggie men’s basketball program places the utmost priority on the values of sportsmanship and respect and feel that an indefinite suspension is necessary.”

Carpenter was issued a flagrant foul 2 and quickly tossed for the punch in the first half of New Mexico State’s 79-73 overtime win at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Carpenter and Robinson had tangled while battling for position under the hoop, and as Robinson turned to head back down the court, Carpenter struck him in the face. Robinson fell to the ground, clutching his face, and was attended to by staff.

Aggies coach Jason Hooten, in a statement Friday, apologized to Liberty coach Ritchie McKay and the entire program for Carpenter’s actions, saying they reflected “some poor judgment.”

“Throughout my 14-year career as a head coach, I have consistently upheld a high standard of conduct, and something like this has never taken place within my programs nor is this acceptable,” said Hooten, who is in his first year overseeing a program looking to turn the page from hazing accusations and a deadly shooting last season.

After the game, Hooten had expressed his shock at Carpenter’s actions, calling him “a really good kid.” But he added, “There’s just no room, no room for that in the game, at all.”

Hooten said in Friday’s statement that Carpenter has “apologized to his teammates and the community for his actions.”

Carpenter, a junior, is in his first season playing for New Mexico State after a transfer from Mississippi Valley State. He also played previously for St. Bonaventure. He is averaging 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game for the Aggies.


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