Iona’s Roland Griffin kicked off team after punching assistant coach

Iona’s top returning player, Roland Griffin, has been dismissed from the team following an alleged physical altercation with assistant coach Garfield “Ricky” Johns, according to Stadium. 

Griffin, a 6-7, 215-pound junior forward, told Stadium he punched Johns multiple times in self-defense after a verbal confrontation. As a result, Johns spent nearly eight hours in the hospital and didn’t return to work for the rest of the week with a head injury. 

“It was really heated,” Griffin told Stadium. “He eventually grabbed me by the jacket and tried to throw me down on the ground physically. We were against the locker, wrestling against the locker. He was grabbing me and holding me.

“He tried to wrestle me down, and I ended up on top. I’m not going to let another man physically do that to me. I punched him four or five times, then I stopped.”

Griffin met with coach Tim Cluess on Monday, had a hearing Tuesday and was told Wednesday that he would face a school disciplinary suspension, which would not allow him to participate in any campus activities, through May 31, 2020, Stadium reports.

The school released a statement to Stadium, acknowledging the importance of safety within the program but did not comment on the altercation.

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“Iona College takes all matters of health and safety seriously,” the statement read. “We take every action necessary to ensure the well-being of the members of our community. The College does not comment on student disciplinary matters or student information.”

Griffin and his mother filed a police report Friday, according to the report.

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