University of Maine freshman basketball player Ilija Stojiljkovic has been suspended by head coach Bob Walsh for an incident during Thursday night’s America East game against UMass Lowell.
“[I] suspended him for his actions on the court against Lowell,” Walsh said in a text message on Friday.
Walsh said he has not determined how long Stojiljkovic will be suspended.
Stojiljkovic was assessed a “Flagrant 2” foul by game officials early in the second half of the contest, which resulted in his ejection.
America East Conference spokesman Sean Tainsh said that there is no automatic suspension resulting from a Flagrant 2, per America East or NCAA rules.
“The only incident from which that occurs, per NCAA rules, is fighting (punches thrown),” Tainsh said in an email.
He said America East backs UMaine in the way it handled the situation.
“The conference supports Maine’s decision and appreciates the proactive manner in which it was addressed,” Tainsh said.
UMass Lowell players and head coach Pat Duquette were overheard during Thursday’s game as saying Stojiljkovic, a 6-foot-7 forward from Serbia, had bitten River Hawks forward Josh Gantz on the ear.
Walsh said he was told Stojiljkovic had intervened when teammate Shaun Lawton and a UMass Lowell player confronted each other after a foul whistled against the River Hawks.
UMaine athletic media relations spokesman Tyson McHatten said Stojiljkovic is not traveling with the Black Bears for their Sunday game at Albany.
According to the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ website, an example of a Flagrant 2 foul would be when a player swings an elbow excessively and makes contact with an opponent above the shoulders. In this case, the player who threw the elbow would be ejected from the game, and the other team would receive two free throws and the ball.
Stojiljkovic has played in 24 games this season, including 18 starts, and is averaging 3.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and one steal in 18 minutes per game.