Campus police have charged University of Memphis women’s basketball team player Jamirah Shutes with assault after she punched Bowling Green State University player Elissa Brett March 23.
The incident, caught on camera, followed BGSU’s 73-60 win against Memphis. The two teams competed on BGSU’s home court to determine which would advance in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
As the players crossed each other in the postgame handshake line, Shutes — Memphis player No. 23 — stopped Brett — BGSU player No. 5. Footage from the incident appears to show the college athletes engaging in a brief verbal exchange before Shutes landed a punch on Brett’s face from a side angle.
Brett fell to the ground directly after the blow.
Shutes’ teammates rapidly escorted the player away from her opponent and seemingly off the court.
“Violence is never acceptable and our priority remains the health, safety and support of our student-athlete, who is recovering and doing well,” BGSU’s athletic department said in a statement on Friday, according to the Associated Press. “This is an active investigation in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green Prosecutor, and no further comment is available at this time.”
“Because the incident occurred after the game, jurisdiction falls in the hands of local authorities, and we are cooperating fully with their process,” Memphis Athletics stated.
Memphis Basketball Player Jamirah Shutes
It’s unclear what caused the confrontation between Shutes and Brett.
The Memphis player is a fifth-year senior who has scored seven 20+ point games in the 2022-2023 season, Memphis Athletics states.
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Shutes and Brett were reportedly involved in an altercation 24 seconds before the end of the game’s first quarter on Thursday night, Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
“Shutes was double-teamed by Brett and Bowling Green teammate Sophie Dziekan. After Brett was whistled for a foul, Dziekan appeared to hit Shutes inadvertently in the face while going for the ball.
Shutes appeared shaken up and left the game for the Tigers’ locker room. She didn’t return until the start of the third quarter.” — Commercial Appeal.
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