Athletic department confirms suspension of Smith and Williams

Bison basketball players Damarius Smith and Marvin Williams have been suspended from the team and are not present at Wednesday’s Atlantic Sun tournament game versus Mercer. Lumination alluded to the possibility of this on Monday when the two were not at the team’s practice.

As of Wednesday night at 7 p.m., Smith and Williams are no longer members of the Bison basketball team.

In an official announcement from the athletic department, the two players have been “suspended” from the team permanently.

“Damarius Smith and Marvin Williams have been suspended indefinitely and will not participate in postseason play. They are not traveling with the team,” the statement reported.

On Monday, Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson said that it was mainly a “disciplinary issue” with Smith. Sanderson did not elaborate on Williams’ status at the time but said he had missed the last four games because he has been “banged up” with a knee injury.

Saturday was not the first time Smith had been held out of playing. Earlier this season against Belmont, Smith dressed and warmed up with the team but did not enter the game.

“It was just a discipline issue,” Sanderson said of Smith’s status in the Belmont game. “We handled it internally, and we moved forward.”

“We’re just trying to learn and do what’s right,” he said. “Sometimes being young is difficult, and we are just trying to learn from day to day and do the right thing.”

However, with the suspension of the players, it seems the team, as well as Smith and Williams, had reached their breaking point.

This makes for eight players that have either left the team or have been suspended: Milos Kleut, Zach Brown, Brett Stall, Stephen Hurt, Robert Boyd, Jordan Burgason, Damarius Smith and Marvin Williams.

Smith averaged 5.2 points per game this season. The most notable points came when he hit the game-winning three in overtime versus Stetson on Jan. 16.

Williams had an up-and-down year dealing with injuries and maturing as a player, but just over two weeks ago the Memphis native scored a season-high 16 points in a 99-91 win over Stetson on Feb. 11.

Smith and Williams averaged 22.2 and 12.2 minutes per game, respectively.

GP -GS
Min Avg FGFGA Pct
3FG-FGA
Pct
FT-FTA
Pct Off Def Tot Avg A Pts Avg
Smith
29-19
644 22.2
59-130
0.454
3 – 13*
0.231
29 – 58
0.5 31 38 69 2.4 46 150 5.2
Williams
24-00
293 12.1
42-100
0.42 0-1 0
15-24
0.625
29 46 75 3.1 32 99 4.1

 

As of 2 p.m. on Monday, both players were still on the team’s roster on LipscombSports.com. A team spokesman did not have any comment about the players’ status going forward into the remainder of the season or going into next year.

The decision to hold the two players out initially took effect during the Bison’s win over Kennesaw State on Saturday. Smith walked into the locker room at halftime in his jersey, but when the team returned for the second half, he was not dressed to play.

Both players were present for the Kennesaw game, but neither of the two dressed to play during the second half. However, Williams did not dress for the entire game. Sources say that Williams was cleared to play, however, he waived that decision.

With Smith, Williams and Jordan Burgason out, Lipscomb’s bench is only four players deep. Moreover, only six out of the nine players on the roster are on athletic scholarships.

Burgason was dismissed from the team earlier this season on Feb. 10. At the time, Burgason was one of the top five 3-point shooters in the nation.

Check back with Lumination later for more from this developing story.

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