Erie CC Hockey Player Who Tackled Referee Arrested, Suspended from School

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- An Erie Community College hockey player faces charges after assaulting a referee during the NJCAA championship game Sunday in Binghamton.

A video from Sports Illustrated shows a player exiting the penalty box at the end of ECC's game against Dakota College at Bottineau and tacking the referee. A box score from the game said freshman Brandon Day received a match penalty in the game's final minute for abuse of officials, and the game was called, with Dakota winning 7-4.

ECC President Jack Quinn said Monday that Day is suspended from the college for at least one week after what Quinn called "an inexcusable on-ice incident."

Day was taken to the Broome County Sheriff's Office on charges of harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. The incident is still under investigation and other charges are possible.

Quinn says Day will meet with the dean of students after the week to determine what will happen next, and says the matter will be handled as if it happened on-campus.

"That student will be afforded his or her rights, but the message has to be clear: This behavior will not be condoned at Erie Community College," said Quinn.

"We're talking about student athletes, we're talking about them representing this college, but when you represent this college you represent Erie County so as the executive of Erie County I was disappointed," said County Executive Mark Poloncarz, D-Erie County. "Of course, you want to win the game, but it's just a game. It's not life or death."

Day was released and is scheduled to appear in court in the Broome County town of Dickinson on March 21.

ECC released this statement Monday apologizing. The statement reads, in whole:

“On behalf of the Erie Community College Board of Trustees and our entire ECC community, I would like to express our sincerest apology for the inexcusable on-ice incident in last night’s NJCAA Hockey Championship at Broome County Community College,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “The act of one player is in no way indicative of our mission as an educational institution, and it does not personify the cordiality and dedication to service instilled in our student body. We regret that this instance marred an otherwise thrilling game between our student athletes and those of Dakota College of Bottineau, and we will handle this situation with all appropriate disciplinary actions.”

“The Erie Community College Athletic Department deeply regrets the actions during Sunday’s NJCAA Championship game against Dakota College of Bottineau,” said ECC Athletic Director Peter Jerebko. “Our hockey program is one of great sportsmanship both on and off the ice, but last night’s incident was not indicative of that tradition. It was the act of a single individual who, today, is deeply remorseful, and is in the process of reaching out to both host Broome County Community College and the game’s official. We join him in this remorse, and extend it to the National Junior College Athletic Association, BCCC, champions Dakota College of Bottineau, and the game’s entire officiating crew. This behavior was completely unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated within our athletic program.”

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