Hannah dismissed from basketball team

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 | 9:22 p.m. CST; updated 12:49 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008
Stefhon Hannah

COLUMBIA — Missouri coach Mike Anderson dismissed guard Stefhon Hannah from the team Tuesday, more than two weeks after Hannah left Columbia with a broken jaw from an early-morning fight outside a local nightclub.

Hannah, who had been at home in Chicago since the Jan. 27 fight, returned to Columbia and spoke with Anderson on Tuesday. At 6:48 p.m. Tuesday, a release from the athletic department announced Hannah’s dismissal for violating team rules.

The release said Hannah did not meet the team’s academic expectations. He had missed more than two weeks of classes while recovering from his injury.

Hannah returned to Columbia on Friday and was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault in connection to the fight. After Missouri’s 77-69 loss against Texas A&M on Saturday, Anderson said he did not speak to Hannah when he was in Columbia, but that Hannah was expected back in Columbia on Monday.

On Monday, Anderson said Hannah was stuck in St. Louis due to bad weather and would return Tuesday instead.

The release said Hannah will have the option of remaining on scholarship to complete his degree. Team spokesman Dave Reiter said he didn’t know if Hannah had decided to remain in school but that he would expect Hannah to make the decision soon.

“Young people make mistakes, it is part of the maturation process as a youth, but when we came to Missouri, we promised the parents, our administration and our fans that we would help turn these boys into men by the time they left our program,” Anderson said in a statement. “Part of becoming a young man is accepting the consequences of your actions, not compounding them. We will continue to support Stefhon through this difficult time and his health continues to be our primary concern. We certainly hope he decides to remain in school to work towards his degree. Stefhon will always have a family here at Missouri and we look forward to watching him grow throughout his life.”

Hannah’s dismissal is the latest in the string of events to come out of the fight.

Police were called to Athena Night Club, 1100 Locust St., at 1:07 a.m. on Jan. 27, hours after Missouri won its first road game of the season, a 66-62 victory over Colorado. Hannah was taken to University Hospital where he received surgery and was released the next day.

Hannah, guard Jason Horton and forwards Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield and Leo Lyons were suspended for Missouri’s 66-62 loss to Nebraska later that week for breaking the team’s curfew on the night of the fight.

On Feb. 1, Horton was arrested by Columbia Police on suspicion of third-degree assault in connection to the fight.

Brown and Lyons returned to the team in its next game, a 77-74 win over Kansas State on Feb. 2. Horton and Butterfield returned in the next game, a 90-71 loss at Kansas.

Reiter said Horton’s punishment differed from Hannah’s because their situations were different.

“The difference is that Jason was here, served the suspension, was in class and remained in good academic standing,” Reiter said.

As of Tuesday, charges had not been filed on either Hannah or Horton. Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said he has until March 3 to file charges.

Before breaking his jaw, Hannah led Missouri in points, assists and steals. He was the Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year last season after transferring from Chipola Community College in Florida.

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