St. Leo University (Fla.) senior guard Isaiah Hill has been suspended for the rest of the calendar year after a video of him punching a Nova Southeastern University opponent during a game hit social media. Nova Southeastern's junior Nick Smith was on the other end of the very obvious, and seemingly out of nowhere, punch.
During the recent Division II basketball game between the schools, Hill wound up and struck Smith and, somehow, the officials did not notice.
It’s NCAA Div. 2 game in Florida. But I bring it up because it’s surreal & former WPIAL standout Nick Smith is on the end of one of the most horrific cheap shots you’ll ever see. Also surreal official standing right next to it & nothing happens to this Saint Leo’s U. player. pic.twitter.com/Tv1ygleVOO— Mike White (@mwhiteburgh) December 8, 2019
After being hit, Smith was clearly in some pain, grabbing his head while trying to get up. He got tangled in the action as he struggled to get to his feet, but eventually returned to play.
Jameson Carter, Manager of Athletic Communications for Nova Southeastern, told brproud.com that Smith did not suffer any major injuries and played through the game.
The school took action after the video gained attention on social media and on Monday St. Leo University head coach Lance Randall implemented a suspension on Hill. This also prompted athletic director Fran Reidy to release a statement on the suspension.
Via USA Today:
"Isaiah's conduct on the court is not an accurate representation of Saint Leo's core values. Saint Leo University holds its students to high standards of moral and ethical conduct as a reflection of Benedictine values. Upon review of Isaiah's actions this past Saturday, he will not represent Saint Leo University in competition for the remainder of 2019."
Jeffrey Senese, the St. Leo University President, also spoke out about what happened and the consequences that followed.
"I support the decision of our coach and athletics administration. This type of conduct will not be tolerated. I am saddened by this event as this behavior does not reflect who we are at St. Leo University and apologize for any comments that suggest otherwise," he said via brproud.com.
With the end of 2019 just around the corner, Hill's suspension will not be too lengthy. He will miss two games and can return for their Jan. 2 game against Rollins.
The Nova Southeastern Sharks went on to beat the St. Leo University Lions, 92-77, in the game where the incident took place.