DEKALB, Ill. (WIFR) A week after meeting the media, Northern Illinois University has suspended three of its men's basketball players indefinitely from competition.
Eugene German, 20, Dante Thorpe, 24, and Zaire Mateen, 20, all have been suspended stemming from a retail theft city ordinance charge.
The incident allegedly took place on October 17 at the DeKalb Walmart. According to DeKalb Police, a supervisor at the self check-out saw the three men taking part in suspicious behavior and contacted security.
After looking at the security video, police determined that some food items had not been scanned on purpose. Police say less than $50 of food was stolen.
Commander Steve Lekkas equates a city ordinance charge to a drinking ticket. The players could contest the citation or plead guilty and pay up to $300 in fines.
NIU men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery put out this statement in regards to the matter:
“We are aware of the incident involving three members of our program and are very disappointed in their actions as they do not reflect the high standards that we have for our student-athletes. As a result, each of these three student-athletes has been suspended indefinitely from competition.”
Montgomery spoke last week about his excitement for having all five starters back, which included German, who started 31 games and Thorpe, who started 22 games. Thorpe is coming back from surgery over the summer.
"You have five starters back, it should be set high. I expect us to have positive results," Montgomery said. "It's tricky because you have to stay free of injuries and some things have to bounce your way but I like the direction it's going right now. We plan on looking down on teams and stop looking up on teams."
On an unrelated charge, German will be in a DeKalb County courthouse on Thursday, Nov. 1 for a pre-trial hearing. He is being charged with battery for an incident back in May. He was arrested and posted bond in August.
News of German's retail-theft arrest comes after the junior was named to the Preseason All-MAC West team on Tuesday. German led the conference in scoring last season, averaging 20.6 points per game. USA Today Sports also named German the Preseason MAC Player of the Year. The Huskies were picked to finish fifth in the West in the league's preseason poll.