At least twelve Rowan University baseball players have been suspended from the team for underage drinking, according to university spokesman Joe Cardona.
In addition, two sophomore pitchers and a former assistant coach have been dropped from the Rowan baseball roster. A third pitcher, who was injured in a Feb. 6 off-campus stabbing, has not been practicing with the team.
Rowan athletic officials have refused to discuss any disciplinary actions taken against members of the baseball team, citing department policy. They would not comment on whether the stabbing, roster changes and underage drinking were linked.
â€œItâ€™s still an in-house matter. I canâ€™t confirm or deny anything,â€ Rowan athletic director Joy Solomen said. â€œItâ€™s not with the school yet. Itâ€™s with police.â€
On Wednesday, associate athletic director Dan Gilmore refused to comment. Head coach Juan Ranero said he is not allowed to comment, citing athletic department policy that forbids him from speaking on the matter.
â€œStudents are supposed to conduct themselves accordingly,â€ said Cardona. â€œThey know if they do certain things that there will be repercussions.â€
Rowan officials have not indicated how long the athletes will be suspended.
Assistant coach Bobby Fox, who was asked to leave the team last week, declined to comment, saying only that he has the â€œutmost respect for coach Ranero.â€ Fox, a fifth-year senior, earned New Jersey Athletic Conference second team honors as the Profs starting catcher last season. This was Foxâ€™s first year as assistant coach. He has since been removed from the online roster.
Sophomore pitchers Michael Halbach and Freddy Orchard have been removed from the roster on the official Rowan athletics website. Last season, Halbach appeared in six games, including three starts, and posted a 3.60 earned run average. He was the teamâ€™s leading returning starter. Orchard appeared in four games last season.
Sophomore Todd Burdette, 19, who was slated to be the teamâ€™s closer, admitted last week he was stabbed in the leg during the Feb. 6 incident and has since been released from the hospital.
Police said the stabbing occurred at 3:21 a.m. in the Beau Rivage apartment complex. According to a press release from Glassboro police, a Glassboro resident, Daniel Bruynell, 20, was found bleeding from the mouth after an altercation with several other males. Police said no complaints were filed and left the area. But shortly afterward they were called back to the same location for a person reportedly bleeding from the leg. The 911 call came from an apartment where several members of the baseball team live.
Police said Bruynell, who is not a Rowan University student, was involved in a fight with three to four other people and during the fight, Bruynell pulled a knife and cut one of his alleged assailants.
Police said both Bruynell and the person who was stabbed, who was identified in the press release only as a 19-year old male from the Campus Crossings apartments, were treated at Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Washington Township and released. Bruynell was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was released from police custody after posting $1,000 bail.
Bruynell could not be reached for comment.
The Gloucester County prosecutorâ€™s office said no additional information would be released because charges are pending further investigation.
The Profs open their 2009 season on Friday when they travel to Newport News, VA for a two-game series against the Christopher Newport University Captains. Rowan enters the season ranked 24th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.