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Roberts suspended for one game
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Roberts suspended from next MSU game

<a href='http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041105/SPORTS030102/41105008' target='_blank'>http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll...030102/41105008</a>

Roberts suspended from next MSU game

By Ian R. Rapoport
irapopor@clarionledger.com

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State basketball star Lawrence Roberts received a one-game suspension from the NCAA because he allowed the Portland Trail Blazers to pay for a private workout in May.

Roberts repaid the $900 for a flight, hotel room and food when he returned to Mississippi State instead of keeping his name in the NBA draft.

According to NCAA rules for reinstatement, Roberts could have been suspended up to nine games depending on the "culpability of the student-athlete." Instead, he will only miss the Bulldogs season-opener against Fairfield in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Birmingham on Thursday.

Roberts broke his nose during Thursday's practice, so there is a possibility he will also miss the team's second game should it advance in the tournament, though that is not part of the NCAA's penalty.

"Am I happy he got one game vs. no games? No," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "But I guess it could've been worse. That's the ruling, we'll live with it and move on."

If MSU does advance in the tournament, Roberts' first game will be in New York City at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 18.

In the meantime, it seems 6-foot-9 sophomore Piotr Stelmach will take Roberts' place in the lineup.

"No one will replace him, but we may have someone else in his spot," Stansbury said.
11-05-2004 05:58 PM
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