Three UNO Players Dismissed After Fight Charges
CHN Staff Report
OMAHA, Neb. Two of the three Nebraska-Omaha players who were charged with disorderly conduct, have been dismissed from the team, the school announced in a statement today.
Senior Matt White, 25, and freshman Preston Hodge, 21, were dismissed after their arrest for allgedly yelling racial slurs and getting into a fight near campus. The Omaha World-Herald first reported today on the incident, which took place Aug 3.
Senior Alex Simonson, 23, was also charged in the incident, but was not dismissed. He faces indefinite suspension pending further investigation.
The police report indicates that the three players, according to witnesses, were harassing some African-Americans, including using racial slurs and epithets.
“Late Thursday afternoon, the UNO athletic department was made aware of an incident early in the morning of August 3," UNO athletic director Trev Alberts said in a statement. "After an internal investigation which included a discussion with the Omaha Police Department, Preston Hodge and Matt White have been dismissed from the UNO hockey team and are no longer on scholarship.
"We are extremely disappointed in the actions of these students; we will not tolerate any misconduct of this nature. We will continue to work diligently to ensure our student athletes understand the importance of tolerance and respect for others”.
Another man, Lamar Triplett, was charged for getting into the fight with the trio.
“I don't know why I got a citation because I was just trying to defend myself that night,” Triplett told the World-Herald. “It was a crazy situation. It was the most random situation I have ever been in.”
According to the report, the three will appear in court in September.
“When we were walking up (to the bar), I could tell something had been going on outside the bar because there were a lot of people around,” Triplett told the newspaper. “I heard someone (cursing) but I didn't think it was at me.”
Triplett said he was confronted by someone later identified as Hodge. Hodge pushed Triplett, and Triplett responded by knocking Hodge to the ground, where he hit his head and lost consciousness. He was treated at the hospital and released.
The situation escalated from there.
“We're still gathering information about what transpired. Once we've finished gathering all the facts, we'll be able to comment further,” UNO coach Dean Blais said in a statement.
Simonson and White are seniors. Hodge is an incoming freshman from Bloomington, Ill.