Cordia player Chapman suspended 2 games for punch

mfields@herald-leader.comFebruary 24, 2014 

Cordia junior basketball player Richard Chapman Jr. was suspended for two games for punching an opponent Friday night.

Richard Chapman Jr. punched Perry County Central's Justin Johnson late in the third quarter of the Lions' 63-53 victory.

Chapman was ejected from the game, and on Monday the KHSAA said Chapman will be suspended for two games (which means this week's district tournament). Two Perry Central reserves — freshman Corey Sizemore and sophomore Tyler Lawson — will be suspended one game for leaving the bench area after the incident.

KHSAA assistant commissioner Angela Passafiume said in a press release that under Board of Control policies, unless the game officials make a request for a review of the incident, the KHSAA cannot act upon video evidence and must abide by the minimum required penalties for those involved.

Cordia Coach Rodrick Rhodes said in an email that neither he nor his staff "condone or support violence in any way, shape or form" on or off the basketball court.

"It was an unfortunate incident that should never have happened."

Rhodes said Cordia will "address the issue and ensure nothing like this happens in the future."

Rhodes also said Chapman "accepts the consequences of his poor decision and action. Please do not let these 17 seconds define or characterize him for a lifetime."

Chapman, a 6-foot-5 junior from Newark, N.J., gained his eligibility just a few weeks ago when Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate issued a restraining order that kept the KHSAA from enforcing Chapman's ineligibility.

Perry Central Coach Shannon Hoskins said Johnson, a Mr. Basketball finalist who has signed with WKU, wasn't hurt "except for a raised knot" behind his left ear. "But it could've been awful."

The two teams could meet again in the 14th Region tournament at Perry Central next week.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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