Basketball: Donkoh plays for St. FX after assault conviction

There's a chance this might stir up debate: Should No. 2-ranked St. Francis Xavier have permitted guard William Donkoh to play this weekend, days after he was convicted of assault in provincial court?
"Judge John Embree handed down his verdict this morning in the case of a23-year-old Tyler Richards of Dartmouth, a former A-U-S all-star; and 20-year-old William Donkoh of Nepean, Ontario; a current member of the team. Embree found Richards not guilty on a second charge of threatening to use a knife while committing an assault. Richards and Donkoh were charged after a man was punched and kicked on James Street in Antigonish last February. The victim testified he required 15 to 18 stitches to close a cut above his eye. Richards and Donkoh will be sentenced on April 21st."
One option is to be adamant and say no way. Committing a crime should mean forfeiting playing privileges. The world does not owe anyone a roster spot.

However, that invokes a double jeopardy situation. St. FX did suspend Donkoh, Richards and Eamon Morrissy after they were charged last February. You would be suspending a player for being charged and for being convicted on said charge. There is an element of forgiveness.

Morrissy was convicted earlier and received six months of house arrest. Richards was found innocent on an additional charge of threatening to use a knife. Donkoh is the only one who is still a going concern for St. FX's basketball fortunes.
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  1. This is something that should have been dealt with long ago. As an athlete and representative of the university, Donkoh could easily have been sanctioned under the university community code, including a penalty up to explusion. That didn't happen. He was suspended during AUS/CIS last year but then came back onto the team this past fall with no other sanctions from the Athletics Department. I'm all for the "innocent until proven guilty" argument, but if that's what the university/AD/Coach K were waiting for, there is no reasonable explanation for not dropping Donkoh now.

    Such a black eye on an otherwise great season for the X-Men.

  2. Surprised at X and Coach K2/22/2010 12:29 pm

    Unfortunately, as mentioned above, Donkoh should take the fall for his school's lack of foresight. He should (or could) have been cleared to practice this season with the team but I seriously doubt a player in the throws of a criminal trial should have been competing in CIS games. "Innocent until proven guilty" keeps him in school and on the team, but any charge that makes it's way to trial should be delicately handlded which in this case it was not. If he gets a similar sentence to the one handed down already (six months house arrest), X has now played virtually their entire season with a player that was in a trial and convicted of a crime during their run. I don't blame Donkoh for waiting to play and keeping his mind off his legal troubles but the school or athletic department should have stepped in when this first came up and put some probationary measures in place to avoid this situation. Would have been completely reasonable to limit his participation in games following his original suspension. The logic doesn't follow that you suspend a player for being charged with a crime and then not follow up with a similar punishment upon being convicted. He should have never been back on the court in a league game until this had been resolved.

  3. @12:29: No doubt some schools would not have let him play at all this season, you're right. It's also a good point that the department could have said, if convicted, you won't play.

    I won't argue your moral and ethical stand. At the same time, Donkoh was sanctioned by the athletic department for this already. At some point, you have to let a person take the hair shirt off and try to redeem himself.

  4. Consideration should be given to the fact that this guy has already served a suspension....a suspension which saw himself and two of his team mates prohibited from playing in the nationals last year. I would think that was a hard situation for those boys to deal with and an especially difficult situation for the members of their team to deal with; way to screw up a hard earned birth at the nationals ....Neither you nor I know what actually happened in this case and we will never know because we were not there. It wouldn't be the first time someone might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes a judge makes a decision which may not or may be correct.... Sometimes two groups can act like idiots as a result of intoxication and someone gets hurt...Which situation describes this? We on the outside will never know... In any case there are harder lessons to learn that will dog these guys for a very long time, guilty or not, much worse than a marred championship bid! And guilty or not, the way that each of them deal with "the hair shirt" will depend on the expectations and support of the people around them....Its amazing what some people can do in the face of adversity when given the chance. I've got to think that Donkoh should be given the opportunity to prove that he can be a contributor and not a deficit to society. If St. FX is willing to give him that and he proves them correct in their faith in him, that is great. If he proves them wrong, then and only then can we jeer at him/them from our spectator seats.

  5. Wrong place at the wrong time? Three players were found guilty of assault! What are you trying to say - he was just stretching his arms and he accidentally sent the guy into the hospital? Come on. He was given a chance to prove himself as the recipient of an athletic scholarship and as a full-time student. I say he should be suspended for two years from CIS or CCAA basketball and getting kicked out of the school too since it happened on campus.

  6. Saying nothing of the sort, just saying I wasn't there so I can't judge him or the other guys...The Judge wasn't there either so it is a guessing game as to who did what. Don't know who was the instigator(not that it matters)...Don't know the circumstances...You say Donkoh is there on a scholarship...You say it happened on campus...You seem to know this as fact. I don't challenge you on this because I don't know.
    What I do know is that playing for a team is a PRIVILEGE. If these guys put themselves in a position that screwed their team (they did) and physically hurt someone, then, shame on them.
    Most guys don't consider consequences of their actions, whether its in the hockey arena or on the way home drunk from a bar...
    What is known, is that Donkoh served his suspension last year. What is also known is that Donkoh will carry the baggage of an assault conviction for the REST OF HIS LIFE. That in itself is a pretty big penalty.
    I just think that if the guy is eager to further pay his debt by improving himelf as a person and as a team mate then he should be given a second chance.
    Sager was so succinct in his earlier post.... as usual. I'll have to practice being less wordy.

  7. It didn't happen on campus, but the university community code extends beyond the campus. The victim was a fellow student athlete as well. A regular student would probably be expelled for an incident like this, and all Donkoh gets is a few games (yes, hurts more that it was during CIS). Again, I agree with giving him the benefit of the doubt and that he deserves a second chance, but for the sake of public perception it really shouldn't be/have been at X. Yes, he's young and did something stupid and shouldn't pay for it for the rest of his life, but if he weren't a high profile athlete he would most likely already be paying for it in terms of university sanctions.

  8. You know "Stieb", he will pay for the rest of his life...lost job opportunities ....problems crossing borders...the knowledge that this has caused a lot of unnecessary grief to a lot of people....Where better to make amends than in the place where you caused the damage...
    What better lesson to learn than - You have been santioned (he was), now we are going to give you a chance to redeem yourself..If you let our family down again you are out.
    Forgiveness with conditions can be more useful than just turfing someone out on their ear.... out of sight out of mind....
    I really don't know what the dicipline would be for a non athlete student. As with most legal things it can turn on who the lawyer/judge is etc.
    Hope he gets the chance to prove himself.

  9. Another consequence of his actions might be a civil suit brought against him by the plaintiff.