Fitchburg State Basketball Player Apologizes for Cheap Shot That Led to Suspension

A member of the Fitchburg State University men's basketball team is apologizing for a brutal hit on an opposing player during a game on Tuesday night.

Junior guard Kewan Platt initially told NBC10 Boston he couldn't talk about the hit because he was traveling to be on Oprah. When told Oprah hasn't had her show in years, he then changed it to Wendy Williams. Shortly afterward, he sent over his apology.

"I hereby want to apologize and show my deep regret upon my actions that occurred during the game against Nichols College the other night," he said. "What I did is totally unacceptable and not justified in any way. I got frustrated and lost control over my behavior. I know these words cannot undo my wrongdoings. In the future I promise to make better choices."

Fitchburg State said Wednesday that Platt has been "indefinitely suspended" from the basketball team and barred from campus effective immediately. According to his bio on the school website, Platt is from Jamaica Plain and is studying criminal justice.

The incident took place during a game between Fitchburg and Nichols College, both Division III schools from Massachusetts.

Video of the incident, which has been widely circulated on social media, shows Nichols College guard Nate Tenaglia shooting a three-pointer. As he follows through, Platt is seen jogging toward Tenaglia and delivering an elbow to Tenaglia's head. Tenaglia falls to the ground, clutching his face.

"I'm not only apologizing to Nate Tenaglia but also to my teammates, the coaching staff, the University and the whole basketball community," Platt said in his apology.

Platt was assessed his second technical of the game and ejected after the hit, according to Yahoo Sports. Tenaglia stayed in the game and hit the two free throws. Nichols went on to win the game 84-75.

"We have a veteran-laden team that knew the most important thing was to focus on the next play," Nichols coach Scott Faucher said in a statement. "Nate is a tough kid: He got right back up, brought his teammates together, made two free throws, and we left with a win."

Fitchburg State said the case is being reviewed at the student conduct level for consideration of further sanctions. Campus police are also investigating.

"The Fitchburg State community is appalled by the conduct displayed during Tuesday night's home basketball game," the school said in a statement. "His behavior is antithetical to our community values and good sportsmanship. Fitchburg State does not tolerate behavior that violates those standards."

The Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference said it has also vacated Platt's player of the week award.

"His behavior goes against the MASCAC's mission, which includes good sportsmanship," Commissioner Angela Baumann said in a statement. "On behalf of the MASCAC and Fitchburg State, we apologize to the Nichols College student-athlete, the team and institution.

Nichols College Athletic Director Chris Colvin said in a statement that he was "troubled by the unfortunate incident" but relieved that Tenaglia was able to finish the game.

"We are proud of the way our student-athletes handled the incident and that they did not allow it to escalate," he said. "We are aware that the Fitchburg State administration is handling the matter."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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