Hofstra fans on suspensions: It's a shame

Hofstra players gather on the court prior to Hofstra players gather on the court prior to the game. (Dec. 1, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Hofstra fans and students were mostly disappointed in the four men's basketball players who were suspended from the university after being charged Friday with burglary.

"I think it's a shame," said Stephanie Kahn, a junior from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before Hofstra's home game Saturday against Southern Methodist University. "Hofstra has always had such a good reputation but I can't take it out on the whole basketball team. Making those four guys leave the school, kicking them off the team and having any criminal charges is enough."

Sophomore Shaquille Stokes and freshmen Jimmy Hall Jr., Kentrell Washington and Dallas Anglin were arrested Thursday and charged Friday, after police say they admitted to stealing laptops, iPads and other items from on-campus dormitories.

"I'm most disappointed on the need to steal," said Rich Wilen of East Meadow, a 12-year season-ticket holder and the eighth-grade boys basketball coach at Merrick Avenue Middle School. "They seem pretty well set with scholarships, but I'm more concerned that they were stealing from their own classmates from the dorm. That's wrong."

His father, Ira Wilen from Jericho, added: "It ruins the season for them, it ruins the season for the fans and they stole from their own classmates. That's the worst part."

Others were concerned with the way the team would be impacted on the court, and seen by those outside the program.

Allen Polyakov, a sophomore from Plainview who was formerly a team manager, said: "It's just unexpected that it was those four. I think it makes the whole team look like thugs but knowing all these guys, none of them are bad guys at all. They're the nicest guys around and it [stinks] that these four ruined the whole reputation of not only them but the whole team."

Former Hofstra and NBA guard Speedy Claxton, now a scout for the Golden State Warriors, said: "Some of those guys were key parts to the team. It's an unfortunate situation and hopefully, it will be resolved in a timely manner."

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