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S.C. player booted off team after arrest

A South Carolina college basketball player has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, and the school's athletic director issued a brief statement saying the player had been taken off the team for an indefinite period.

The man, 22, also was charged with hit and run with property damage.

This is the third brush with the law that the senior guard has had. He was suspended for violating the school's code of conduct after police arrested him in July 2011. In that case, he was accused of having an open container of alcohol in a car that carried six others. In 2009, he entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge pertaining to possession of drug paraphernalia.

The man's arrest comes just as his school prepares to start the new season. The team's first official practice was held the morning after his arrest. The coach said he was prepared to move on without the player, though he would not state if the suspension was permanent.

The player had started 47 games over the past two seasons, despite missing the first half of last season because of his suspension.

At the school, two others connected to the basketball team have been arrested in the past year. In January, one player, who was sitting out for academic reasons, was arrested and charged with possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. A second player was charged with kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery, and first-degree burglary.

Universities have the responsibility of educating individuals. Given the rash of arrests, the university should increase its efforts to provide seminars for the entire student body to discuss the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as other illegal acts.

Source: The Sun News, "Coastal Carolina basketball player Nieman removed from team after arrest," Ryan Young, Oct. 12, 2012

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