Fitchburg State suspends Kewan Platt for dirty play, bars him from campus

A Division III basketball player is now suspended indefinitely and banned from campus after hitting an opposing player with a vicious elbow during a game on Tuesday night.

Late in a loss to Nichols College, Fitchburg State’s Kewan Platt approached Nate Tenaglia and hit him in the face with a right elbow after Tenaglia shot a 3-pointer. In the video posted on social media, Tenaglia, who made the shot, falls to the ground after being struck.

Video distributed on social media makes it appear play continued without any repercussions. However, according to those in attendance, Platt was ejected; he had picked up a technical foul earlier in the game between the Massachusetts schools.

“The Fitchburg State community is appalled by the conduct displayed during Tuesday night’s home basketball game,” Fitchburg State athletic director Matthew Burke said in a statement. “The player involved has been indefinitely suspended from the team and barred from campus, effective immediately.

“His behavior is antithetical to our community values and good sportsmanship. Fitchburg State does not tolerate behavior that violates those standards. The case is being reviewed at the student conduct level for consideration of further sanctions.”

Matthew Bruun, the university’s director of public information, told ESPN that the Fitchburg State University police department is “fact-finding” and reviewing the incident from Tuesday night.

Nichols College, in its own statement, said Tenaglia was deemed OK to finish the game.

“We were troubled by the unfortunate incident that occurred at Tuesday evening’s men’s basketball game at Fitchburg State University,” Nichols College athletics director Chris Colvin said in a statement. “The Nichols College student-athlete involved was able to complete the game, and we continue to monitor his health. We are proud of the way our student-athletes handled the incident and that they did not allow it to escalate. We are aware that the Fitchburg State administration is handling the matter.”

According to Nichols spokesman Pete Divito, Tenaglia had guarded Platt throughout the game, frustrating him with his defense. Following the incident, Tenaglia finished the game after tests for a concussion were negative.

Divito said school officials were glad Tenaglia was OK and relieved “most of the team didn’t see it” due to concerns about a potential altercation.

“The best we can gather was that it was frustration,” Divito said about Platt’s elbow. “There was no real setup to this. … We’re happy it didn’t escalate into a brawl.”

Platt’s name has been removed from the Fitchburg State basketball program’s website. He had recently been given a player of the week award by the school’s league, the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, but the league has vacated that accolade.

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