Erick Barkley, a sophomore guard and St. John's leading scorer, has been suspended for an unannounced NCAA rule violation, and the school announced it would protest the decision.
"While the university makes this declaration of its own volition, it does so under strong protest," the school said in a statement before the Red Storm defeated Boston College, 59-58, in New York in a game Coach Mike Jarvis nearly skipped because of the suspension. "The university is seeking Erick Barkley's immediate reinstatement at this time. The university and the NCAA have sharply different interpretations of the rules that apply to this case."
The nature of Barkley's infraction was not disclosed, and a representative of the NCAA was not immediately available for comment.
"As regards specific issues pertaining to our student-athletes, in the interest of maintaining our student-athletes' rights to privacy, we maintain our long-standing policy of not discussing such matters," the statement said.
Jarvis was upset after the game.
"I was not going to coach today, but I felt the best way to support my team was to be here and I would have been giving in," he said. "He's done nothing wrong. I'm absolutely positive. The unfortunate thing about the whole incident is that a whole lot of people will think he's done something wrong. Positively, he has not."
Senior guard Gary Saunders was suspended indefinitely by Seton Hall for violating team and university policy, Athletic Director Jeff Fogelson announced. The reason for the suspension was not detailed.