A video has gone viral on social media this week, which shows a college basketball player striking an opponent with a cheap shot.
The footage allegedly stems from a game played on December 7, between Saint Leo University and Southeastern University. As you can see in the video below, SLU player Isaiah Hill can be seen sucker-punching Nick Smith in the back of in the head. A discombobulated Smith can be seen falling to the ground before getting back up and continuing to play.
The foul was noticed by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter Mike White, who took to Twitter to share a video of the unprovoked assault with his social media followers.
White captioned the clip: "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. [sic]"
White also shared a response tweet from Saint Leo University President Jeffrey Senese (which has since been deleted) who wrote: "Posting one out of context video when your team violently fouls, takes constant cheap shots and disrespects you in an unsportsmanlike manner every minute of the game is cowardly and weak! #SaintLeo. [sic]"
As a result of the controversy, Hill has now been suspended from playing. According to a statement posted on Saint Leo University's website: "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."
Vice President and Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy added: "Upon review of Isaiah’s actions this past Saturday, he will not represent Saint Leo University in competition for the remainder of 2019."
Meanwhile, Senese also added: "After a careful review of Isaiah Hill’s actions during the December 7 game against Nova Southeastern University, the university has suspended him from play for the remainder of 2019. I support the decision of our coach and athletics administration."
He continued: "This type of conduct will not be tolerated. I am saddened by this event as this behavior does not reflect who we are at Saint Leo University and apologize for any comments that suggest otherwise."