UPDATED: 10:57 a.m. EST, Dec. 6 —
The fallout has already begun following the scandalous accusations involving members and now-former players on the men’s basketball team at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. After it was reported that multiple players were accused of — but not arrested for — various crimes, including sexual assault, and still allowed to compete, the future of the hoops program was now in question.
That’s because a top recruit has de-committed from the program, according to the Washington Post.
“On Thursday afternoon, while Georgetown traveled to Dallas to ready for a game against SMU on Saturday, four-star recruit Terrance Williams of Washington Catholic Athletic Association power Gonzaga High announced his decommitment from the Hoyas,” the Post wrote.
Williams’ decision could spell doom for the 2020 recruiting class — and head coach Patrick Ewing’s job.
One of the nation’s most iconic men’s college basketball programs suffered its most devastating defeat of the season on Monday night, and they weren’t even playing a game.
Bombshell reports Monday night alleged that multiple Georgetown University players were under criminal investigation and/or stated their intentions to transfer from the storied program that was off to a promising start this season after a brief spate of college hoops irrelevance. Meanwhile, it was also announced that another star player was leaving the program altogether.
The entire episode, which was still unfolding on Tuesday, has left the future of Georgetown basketball — and its coach, Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing — uncertain.
Players Galen Alexander, Myron Gardner and Josh LeBlanc are all the subjects of temporary restraining orders stemming from accusations of burglary, sexual harassment and assault against two female students at Georgetown. Those accusations were part of a larger civil suit pending in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
On top of that, the school announced that a fourth player — star point guard James Akinjo, who Georgetown Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed said was not involved in any of the allegations against LeBlanc, Alexander, and Gardner — was leaving the team effective immediately.
According to CBS Sports, a woman accused LeBlanc of “assault and battery, plus theft of personal property.” A second accuser, another woman, alleged that Gardner committed sexual harassment and assault.
However, as of Tuesday evening, there had been no arrests made by either police at Georgetown University or city officers in Washington, D.C., a sign that law enforcement apparently has not been able to find any evidence of a crime.
Journalist Laura Wagner tweeted copies of two incident reports the accusers filed with the Metro Police Department. One specifically claimed that LeBlanc threatened “to do bodily harm” if the accuser told anyone about the alleged robbery of video game equipment, a camera, camera lens and a pair of designer sneakers.
Another accuser’s incident report made allegations about “the suspect showing her his erect clothed penis.”
Both complaints were filed within a week from each other, with the first one being made early last month. The timing was important to note because the first incident report about LeBlanc came prior to the season’s start. Still, LeBlanc appeared in all but six of the team’s seven games. The Hoyas’ first game was Nov. 6.
The second incident report accused Gardner of sexual assault, something that CBS Sports reported “allegedly led to Gardner, LeBlanc and Alexander to harass and threaten the accuser.”
Gardner denied the accusations when the Washington Post called him Monday night. “I don’t know who you’re getting that from, but I’ve never done those things in my life,” the freshman from Detroit said.
In spite of that fact, Alexander, Gardner and LeBlanc were still allowed to play, something that may have violated rules of both the school and the NCAA, the governing body of intercollegiate sports.
That could be construed as a poor reflection on Ewing, an iconic figure in Hoya basketball who helped the program win its first and only NCAA championship in the 1980s. He was named as head coach in 2017 with high hopes that he would be able to resuscitate a basketball program that was drowning in mediocrity. Ewing was able to improve on the team’s record in his first two seasons and started this season winning four of the first five games including toppling a ranked Texas team.
But Ewing and his team achieved those victories with players who had been accused of crimes, something the university apparently was unaware of. It was unclear when, or if, Ewing was made aware of the accusations. He made no mention of them on Monday night when he only announced that “James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc will not be playing for the men’s basketball team effective immediately and will not be members of the team for the remainder of the season.” On Tuesday afternoon, Reed, Georgetown’s athletics director, quietly announced without naming names and going into any detail that “Separately, allegations were reported publicly against three members of the team.”
There’s also been some rumbling on social media calling for Ewing to be fired for what angry fans have assumed is a lack of institutional control.
The editor of fan site 247Sports tweeted on Monday night that he “can confirm the existence of the Georgetown Black Student Alliance list of members of the university who have been accused of sexual assault/harassment.” The Twitter account for Thompson’s Towel, a blog named for John Thompson, Georgetown’s legendary coach who famously held a towel during games, also insisted that the “list from the Georgetown Black Student Alliance exists and has been making the rounds on campus.”
However, a number of people on Twitter who identified themselves as Black students at Georgetown pushed back against that narrative.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Alexander and Gardner were still listed as being active members of the basketball team on the university’s athletics website.
The Hoyas are scheduled to bring their two-game losing streak to play against Oklahoma State University on Wednesday.