Stories differ in Bozeman argument

Morgan State officials still gathering facts about assault charge

College Basketball

February 08, 2007|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Reporter

Morgan State is taking a "wait-and-see approach" on men's basketball coach Todd Bozeman, who was charged with two misdemeanors in the aftermath of a Saturday argument with the management of a Farmville, Va., restaurant.

Bozeman told The Sun on Monday that he would return to Prince Edward County to respond to the charges. Messages for Jim Ennis, the Prince Edward County attorney handling the matter, were not returned.

Clint Coleman, a Morgan State spokesman, said yesterday the university was still in a fact-gathering stage.

"Our statement is the same today as it was yesterday, and the day before that," Coleman said. "The university is taking a wait-and-see approach. We look forward to getting at the bottom of what happened.

"University police will be interacting with Farmville police and Coach Bozeman and his assistants to see what happened. We have varying accounts of what happened. People who work at the restaurant say one thing. Others say something else."

Bozeman returned to Mulligan's restaurant seeking a refund after Morgan State's food order was not filled to his specifications. A manager at the restaurant said Bozeman used obscene language and placed his hands on a female employee, leading to the two misdemeanor charges.

Under the Virginia code, the penalty for the first-degree offense of misdemeanor assault and battery is 12 months in prison and/or a $2,500 fine. The penalty for curse and abuse, a third-degree offense, is a fine of no more than $500.

Bozeman is coaching Morgan State after a 10-year absence from the college game stemming from NCAA rules violations, including paying $30,000 to a recruit's family.

Hassan Murphy, his attorney, said earlier this week that Bozeman's Morgan State contract did not include any zero-tolerance policies, similar to the one that got Bob Knight fired from Indiana in 2000.

The Bears will take a five-game winning streak in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference into Saturday's 4 p.m. game against Hampton at Hill Field House.

paul.mcmullen@baltsun.com

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