INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference office announced Wednesday it has issued multiple reprimands and suspensions stemming from violations of the GLVC Sportsmanship Policy during the final game of the 2019 GLVC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
With 5 minutes and 58 seconds remaining in the championship game between Bellarmine University and Drury University, Bellarmine junior guard Mikayla Berry followed her made three-pointer with what was deemed by game officials as incidental contact with Drury junior guard Daejah Bernard, as Bernard was attempting to collect the ball for the ensuing throw-in. Berry then committed multiple acts of misconduct, which were direct violations of GLVC Handbook Section 1.A.1.b, stating in part that “intimidating actions, fighting, attempts to injure, and any other malicious or violent conduct may be penalized by contest officials and/or the Conference.”
During the altercation in front of the Bellarmine team bench, multiple fouls were called by the officiating crew of Trey Miles, Keith Kee, Amanda Went and standby official Jamaica Cannon, including:
Bellarmine junior guard Katie Downey was then awarded two free throws for the technical foul against Diestelkamp.
Pursuant to GLVC Handbook Section 19.F.6, “All game personnel (i.e. coaches, student-athletes, athletic trainers, managers, or any others associated with the institution or contest in an official capacity) who are ejected from a regular season or GLVC tournament contest, will be suspended from the team’s next contest.”
Therefore, both Robinson and Parker have been suspended for the opening game of the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, March 15, in Springfield, Missouri.
In a comprehensive review conducted by the Conference, it was concluded that Berry’s actions should have resulted in an immediate ejection from the contest.
“The actions taken by the Bellarmine student-athlete have no place in the Great Lakes Valley Conference,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “She is hereby reprimanded for her inexcusable misconduct.”
Following an institutional review by Bellarmine, the University has suspended Berry for the first two games of the 2019-20 regular season, which the Conference accepts. Berry has already issued an apology to the league office.
In accordance with penalties established in GLVC Handbook Section 19.F.1, the Conference office has additionally suspended Berry for the third game of the 2019-20 regular season.
The Conference also concluded that, based on video review, four additional ejections for leaving the team bench area were missed by the officiating crew, including:
Pursuant to GLVC Handbook Section 19.F.7, “With the exception of the head coach and any number of assistant coaches, any bench personnel, including student-athletes, who leaves the bench area when a fight may break out or has broken out, during a GLVC championship event or tournament, shall be ejected from the contest and suspended for the next game. The suspension will carry over to the following season if the ejection occurs in the final contest.”
While the ejections were not called by the game officials, the Conference is suspending Downey and Richards for the first game of the 2019-20 regular season.
Furthermore, the Conference’s review also concluded there was a lack of game management by the aforementioned officiating crew, specifically in regards to the enforcement of bench decorum. The crew was also found to have incorrectly awarded Downey free throws, when, in fact, Berry should have been ejected from the contest and one team technical foul should have been assessed to Bellarmine and Drury, which would have resulted in free throws for Drury, stemming from Berry’s ejection.
As a result, the Conference is reprimanding the four officials and suspending them one GLVC game during the 2019-20 league schedule, as well as the 2020 GLVC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Additionally, the Conference has also issued the following reprimands:
“It is deeply troubling that our GLVC women’s basketball championship game was marred by acts of misconduct and unsportsmanlike behavior, especially when the Conference staff emphasized the importance of bench decorum and reviewed our ejection policy with both our men’s and women’s head coaches and officials prior to the start of the tournament,” said Naumovich. “Our rules and disciplinary procedures are in place to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes. We cannot have student-athletes leaving the team bench area, regardless of immeasurable intent, as our long-standing rule and penalty are clear. What we need to have is those in charge of managing the contest both on the court and on the sidelines to adhere to the Conference’s sportsmanship policy and NCAA bench decorum principles. Unfortunately, this failure to monitor bench decorum led to these acts of misconduct, which changed the entire discourse of our tournament final and subsequently damaged the reputation of both our sport and our league.”
The Great Lakes Valley Conference considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment.