James Madison Head Men’s Basketball Coach Matt Brady announced today the formal disciplinary actions against junior guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) and sophomore forward Tom Vodanovich (Wellington, New Zealand/St. Patrick’s College). Nation and Vodanovich were previously suspended indefinitely on Oct. 6, for their involvement in an off-campus altercation with each other.
Today’s proceedings in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham General District Court resolved both sets of charges that occurred from the incident between Nation and Vodanovich.
With the case concluded, Brady has made the following decision regarding the student-athletes: Nation is suspended from the team’s preseason scrimmage, the Nov. 2 home exhibition and the first five games of the regular season from Nov. 14-26. Vodanovich is suspended from the team’s preseason scrimmage, the Nov. 2 home exhibition and the first two games of the regular season, spanning Nov. 14-17.
Vodanovich will be eligible to return for the home contest against Longwood on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Nation will be eligible to play Friday, Nov. 28 when JMU travels to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State as part of the Buckeye Classic. In the interim, both players will be able to practice with the team, attend team functions and continue with academic assistance.
JMU will host Philadelphia for an exhibition on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. at the Convocation Center. The Dukes start their 2014-15 regular season at home Friday, Nov. 14, hosting Virginia at 7 p.m.
Statement by Head Coach Matt Brady
“As the Head Coach of our men’s basketball program, I am responsible for the development of the student-athletes in our team. This means development of each young man to the highest standard and to ensure they conduct themselves in a manner that brings pride to our program and the University. To that end, given the most recent actions of two of our student-athletes there will be a zero tolerance from this point forward with regard to Andre and his involvement with our program. Any future violation on his behalf will result in him being removed permanently as a member our men’s basketball program. Tom realizes that if he fails to uphold the high standards of our program at any point going forward he faces the risk of losing the privilege of representing our team or attending this university.
This issue is not just about violations of university rules and regulations or judicial strikes, but about being accountable for your actions. I care about Andre and Tom and want the best for them. As a staff, we will continue to support and work with them to ensure they are successful student-athletes both on and off the court and represent our university in a positive manner.”
Statement by Andre Nation
“I take full responsibility for my actions and I want to apologize again to my coaches and teammates as well as apologizing to the entire school, the community and the fans. I know my actions have caused great harm to more than just another person but to everyone involved with the program and all our supporters. I am truly sorry for what I did and ask everyone for forgiveness as I work my hardest to do what is right as well as make up for what I did wrong.”
Statement by Tom Vodanovich
“I know that I had not been demonstrating the behavior and respect that is expected of me lately and for that I want to say that I am greatly sorry. I take full responsibility for my actions and am well aware and extremely remorseful for the negative effects they have brought upon not only me but the program and the university.”
Statement by Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne
“Intercollegiate Athletics is about providing opportunities to young people and helping each student-athlete grow and develop to their maximum potential. The opportunity to represent our institution as a student-athlete is a privilege, not a right and as such it carries with a significant responsibility to uphold the reputation and character of the university and our athletic program. This situation was an unfortunate event that embarrassed the institution and the young men involved need to do better. Our emphasis will be on a combination of education and a disciplinary element based on departmental policy. Further, I support Coach Brady’s recommendation regarding future violation of team rules or university policy by Andre and that it will result in his dismissal from the men’s basketball program and such actions may place Tom in a similar position.”