On Wednesday, Jamirah Shutes, a University of Memphis women’s basketball player, pled not guilty to the criminal charges against her.
Shutes was charged after last week’s basketball game when she hit an opposing player in the face at the end of the team handshake. Shutes and the opposing player had a heated exchange following the game on Thursday, which won against Memphis with a 73-60 score. The argument was caught on camera, but it’s unclear what was said, but the exchange led to Shutes punching Bowling Green State University star Elissa Brett in the face, TMZ reported.
Brett can be seen falling to the ground after the strike and later being assisted off the court while crying.
Allegedly the Shutes and Brett’s argument took place with just 24 seconds left in the first quarter. Shutes was fouled by Brett and her teammate Sophie Dziekan, who allegedly hit Shutes in the face while jumping for the ball.
Attorney Steven Crossmock, who legally represents Shutes, spoke in an Ohio court requesting a plea deal for his client. Shutes’s presence is being requested back in court for another court hearing next month.
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Memphis University released a statement that the school called the incident “extremely unfortunate and certainly not consistent with, or representative of, our expectations for our programs and student-athletes.”
“Violence is never acceptable, and our priority remains the health, safety and support of our student-athletes,” the statement read, Complex reported.
Brett suffered swelling in her right eye as a result of the punch, according to police, but she was able to play in BGSU’s win over Florida on Monday.