The University of Virginia was in the news yet again this week with the dismissal of Shamel Bratton. Reports are surfacing that his brother might also be subject to additional disciplinary action. This is at least the second (or third according to some reports) team rules violation this season by the Bratton Brothers.
So, several topics to be covered :
Shamel Bratton Dismissed from Virginia Team
- What do these suspensions mean for the Virginia Men's Program after last year's murder?
- Are the increased personal responsibility terms at Virginia actually working?
- What does this mean for the Brattons and their professional lacrosse careers?
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia men's head lacrosse coach Dom Starsia announced today (April 29) that senior midfielder Shamel Bratton has been dismissed from the team for the violation of team policies.
"I want to wish Shamel the very best in his future endeavors," Starsia said. "He has made many contributions to the program. At the same time, there are standards of behavior within the framework of the team that we expect to be met by all of our student-athletes. Failure to do so on a consistent basis has resulted in the loss of the privilege of being a member of this team."
Bratton concludes his UVa career with 89 goals, which ranks No. 3 all-time among Virginia midfielders. The Huntington, N.Y., native also finishes with 40 career assists and 129 career points, ranking No. 5 and No. 1 respectively among UVa midfielders all-time. Bratton finishes the season with 20 goals and eight assists on 22.2 percent shooting.
Reminding our readers of the end-February news from the Cavaliers. Is this a program in need of more radical review or are the internal processes working?
STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- While the top-ranked Virginia men's lacrosse team has enjoyed a 3-0 record to start the 2011 season, it's been a rocky start for the Cavaliers off the field.
Starting goaltender senior Adam Ghitelman missed the first game of the season, a 12-9 win over No. 20 Drexel, after being suspended by the team.
Then in Saturday's high-profile matchup against No. 5 Stony Brook, Virginia was missing starting midfielders seniors Shamel and Rhamel Bratton, who did not make the trip to Long Island.
Virginia head coach Dom Starsia classified the Brattons' absence as a team issue.
"It's a little violation of team policy, that's all," Starsia said. "It's been resolved."
Starsia said he expects the brothers back at practice Sunday and to play against VMI on Monday.
Ghitleman's suspension was only described by Starsia as a "team matter" that was "resolved," according to reports.
Virginia held on in overtime to defeat the Seawolves, 11-10, in a rematch of last year's NCAA quarterfinal game.
More reporting on the situation - and some reporting from inside the team via unnamed sources.
Senior Shamel Bratton, a two-time first-team all-American midfielder, has been dismissed from the Virginia men’s lacrosse team, the school announced Friday afternoon.
“I want to wish Shamel the very best in his future endeavors,” Coach Dom Starsia said in a statement. “He has made many contributions to the program. At the same time, there are standards of behavior within the framework of the team that we expect to be met by all of our student-athletes. Failure to do so on a consistent basis has resulted in the loss of the privilege of being a member of this team.”
According to numerous individuals in the lacrosse community and people who are close to the Virginia men’s lacrosse program, the Cavaliers’ players on Wednesday voted to dismiss Bratton for a third violation of team rules this spring and to indefinitely suspend his twin brother, senior Rhamel Bratton, for a second violation.
The individuals requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak openly about team matters.
The twin brothers missed practice on Monday to attend the funeral of the mother of Maryland lacrosse player Ryan Young on Long Island. That missed practice was excused, and at least two other Virginia players were at the funeral, including senior starting goalie Adam Ghitelman and his brother Jacob, according to someone who attended.
The Ghitelmans were back for practice on Tuesday, according to an individual close to the program. Shamel and Rhamel Bratton were not. Starsia confirmed that Rhamel Bratton is suspended for Saturday’s game and “will be reinstated at a later date.”
Shamel Bratton served two one-game suspensions this season. He missed an 11-10 win over Stony Brook on Feb. 26 and a 12-7 loss to Maryland on April 2. Rhamel Bratton also missed the Stony Brook game for a violation of team rules.
According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, the Brattons were suspended for the Stony Brook game because they violated the team’s alcohol policy, which is established by the players.
In February, senior defenseman Bray Malphrus called the policy, which was newly crafted for the current season, "the strictest, most stringent rule since I've been here."
"And that's by design," he added.
After the May 2010 death of Virginia women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love, it was revealed that eight Virginia men’s lacrosse players — including George Huguely, who was indicted April 18 on murder charges in connection with Love’s death — had been arrested for alcohol-related incidents (two were found not guilty).
According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, the Brattons made it well known they never intended to follow the alcohol policy and that they tried to get other players to vote to change the policy, but were unsuccessful.
The same sources also said the Brattons traveled to Stony Brook — which is about a 40-minute drive from their home town of Huntington Station, N.Y. — with their gear and offered to play despite their suspensions. After the Brattons’ older brother learned they would be held out of the game, he confronted Starsia, sources said.
Shamel Bratton has 20 goals — ranking fourth on the team — and eight assists for the Cavaliers (8-5) this year; Rhamel has 17 goals — fifth on the team — and five assists.
The Cavaliers close the regular season on Saturday afternoon against Pennsylvania in Charlottesville. They are expected to receive an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament, which begins May 14.
This website should be complemented for covering this story which shows some of the negative issues inside one of the top rated programs in the country (Virginia) largely created by a win at all costs mentality that has just gotten out of control.
After the history in the program over the last two years, you would think that 22 year old men would have the self-control to recognize their impact on their coach, their program, and their university, not to mention their own sport and personal futures.
What good is a four year college education if you actually did not learn any life lessons until you are barred from the team?
I'm sure coach Starsia thought long and hard about dismissing one if not two of his best players in a season full of expectations. Today's victory over maryland to win the national championship vindicates that decision and says volumes about the character of the UVA lacrosse team. Congratulations Hoos !!!