University of Maine men’s basketball coach Bob Walsh said he’s “very disappointed” after a locker room fight that left one player with a broken jaw and five players suspended.

According to a University of Maine police report, Marko Pirovic suffered a broken jaw from a punch thrown by Wes Myers after practice on Feb. 14.

Three of the suspended players – onlookers to the fight – were reinstated Tuesday, while Pirovic and Myers remain suspended.

“I’m obviously very disappointed,” Walsh said Thursday. “It’s not good and there’s an obviously negative effect, short term. But I don’t think it’s reflective of who we are or the kids we have.

“Our guys will certainly learn from this.”

Myers, a junior guard who transferred from Niagara University, was the team’s leading scorer (16.9 points a game). Pirovic, a senior forward from Ontario, was a regular player, starting six of 28 games.

Pirovic, whose jaw was wired shut after surgery, is done for the year. Myers’ future is less certain. He’s still enrolled at the university but it’s unclear if he will be allowed back on the team.

“I hope so,” Walsh said. “For now he’s suspended indefinitely.”

The Black Bears are enduring a difficult season (6-24) and have one remaining regular-season game – Saturday in Binghamton, New York – and then the America East Conference tournament next week.

The other three players, Ilija Stojiljkovic, Jaquan McKennon and Dusan Majstorovic, were suspended for covering up the incident, according to Walsh.

When Pirovic was injured, players lied about what happened. According to the police report, “initially Marko, Wes and the other players present decided to say that Marko fell in the shower to avoid any consequences.”

According to the report, Pirovic was listening to music, which Myers wanted turned off. The two players began arguing and then fighting. The fight ended immediately when Pirovic’s jaw was broken.

Pirovic hurried to see one of the trainers, Ryan Taylor. He noted the jaw injury, along with loose or missing teeth, and called for an ambulance.

The players told Taylor that Pirovic fell in the shower.

Walsh said he found out about the incident soon after it occurred.

While the police report stated that Walsh “indicated that he was unaware of any issues between the players that would lead to an assault,” Walsh explained later that he simply knew of no reason why Myers would hit Pirovic.

Police visited Pirovic on Feb. 16. Although he was unable to talk, he provided a written statement confirming how the injury really happened.

According to the report, Pirovic indicated “that this is a common occurrence that got out of hand and that no one was at fault. He stated that he had no interest in going further with this case as both men were to blame.

“As noted in Marko’s written statement, ‘At this point, I want this all (to) be over …’”

Initially, the five players were suspended for the Feb. 15 game at New Hampshire, as well as the final home game last Sunday – a day when the seniors were honored before the game. Pirovic was not invited to take part in the ceremony.

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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