Nevada dismisses player from basketball team
April 17, 2009
RENO ” Nevada freshman forward Ahyaro Phillips was dismissed from the basketball team Friday after his second arrest in a year, this time for having a handgun on school property.
Phillips, a 6-foot-8 native of New Orleans who averaged 2.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this year, was arrested by campus police on Wednesday and charged with possession of a dangerous weapon. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
“I’m very disappointed in Ahyaro,” Nevada coach David Carter said.
“He was given an opportunity and unfortunately he did not follow the rules of my team and the university, but we wish him well. I also want to offer a sincere apology to the university and our community for this incident,” he said.
Campus Police Chief Adam Garcia said the arrest followed an altercation at a university recreation center at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. He said an investigation determined Phillips was in possession of a handgun. No other details were released.
Nevada athletic director Cary Groth told the Reno Gazette-Journal it was her understanding that the gun fell out of Phillips’ pocket and that he was not directing it at anybody.
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John Arrascada, a Reno lawyer representing Phillips, said he was in the process of posting the $4,000 bail and was expected to be released from jail later Friday. He said he had no further comment at this time.
Phillips was suspended for about a month at the start of the season after he and two other Wolf Pack players were arrested for allegedly shoplifting at a sporting goods store in October. One player, freshman London Giles, pleaded guilty to petty larceny and was fined $417. The charges against Phillips and junior guard Brandon Fields eventually were dismissed.
Carter said his players understand the Wolf Pack program sets high standards of behavior and there are severe consequences if they fail to meet them.
Nevada athletic director Cary Groth said she supported Carter’s decision to dismiss Phillips, who started three games last season and played in all but five.
After Hurricane Katrina, Phillips relocated from New Orleans to Virginia, where he played at Douglas Freeman High School in Richmond and then Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va.,
In his first year playing for Nevada, he became more of a force on the boards as the season went on. In his best game, he scored 8 points and had 12 rebounds in a 95-39 win over Sonoma State on Dec. 9.