KREM, the Spokane CBS affiliate, reported on Sunday afternoon that police are investigating a series of fights in downtown Spokane in which four people were sent to the hospital, including two women.
Witnesses say that two of the people involved in the fight were members of the USC basketball team, and a Facebook page that was sent as a tip to Deadspin pinpoints Dewayne Dedmon and James Blasczyk, two of SC's three 7-foot centers, as the accused. Police have yet to identify or arrest anyone involved.
From The Spokesman-Review:
Noel Macapagal, an employee and former owner of The Wave Sushi and Sports Grill and Sushi Bar, said fellow employees called him at about 1 a.m. Sunday saying they needed help because several of them had been assaulted.
“We had a person knocked out cold, a female employee who suffered a broken nose and another employee with a broken jaw as well,” Macapagal said.
“The basketball players followed this individual and sucker-punched him. While he was out cold, the player punches the girl, who suffered a broken nose,” Macapagal said. The fight broke up but Macapagal joined the employees and they later located the players at the Satellite Diner at 425 W. Sprague Ave.
“Another fracas breaks out with the 7-footer. His friend, another 7-footer, comes out of the Satellite and proceeds to start hitting people in the crowd,” Macapagal said. “One victim got knocked out who had nothing to do with this situation. And the player was kicking the guy who was down.”
Spokane Police arrived and spoke to the victim of the assault at the Satellite, but the players had already left.
If these accusations end up being true, then no doubt the players will be suspended, which will likely kill any remaining chances they had of winning the Pac-12 tournament. Then again, they may not have had a chance to begin with. The Trojans were in Spokane for a game against Pac-12 bottom feeders Washington State, a game they lost 76-51.
But the damage may go even farther than just this week. With USClooking for a new basketball coach next semester, there's no telling if an incident like this could scare away potential suitors for the open position. It'd be hard to believe that many basketball coaches would be up for coaching a team with players that are allegedly off in some out-of-state city committing random acts of ultra-violence.
USC plays Utah in the first round of the conference tournament this Wednesday at 6 p.m.