April 24, 2006
Amherst, MA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- Massachusetts men's basketball assistant coach Steve Middleton was arrested for domestic assault and battery last Wednesday night, according to a report in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Middleton will not receive disciplinary action from the UMass athletic department.
According to the report, Middleton was arrested at 11:42 p.m. when police were called to his house on High Street in Amherst after a "physical altercation with a woman" who was not identified by the authorities. The woman sustained minor physical injuries.
Middleton pleaded innocent to charges of assault and battery on Thursday at Eastern Hampshire District Court. The court pushed Middleton's case back to May 24.
In UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon's original statement, released by Assistant UMass Athletic Director Jason Yellin, he claimed that the charges against Middleton had been dropped.
However, upon receiving the correct information, McCutcheon added that the "conflict between Steve and his wife had been resolved," and "we don't anticipate any further action at this time."
UMass coach Travis Ford and Middleton had no comment on the situation.
Before his arrival at UMass, Middleton coached high school basketball, played minor league basketball and coached for three years with Ford during his tenure at Eastern Kentucky. Middleton hails from Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. During his senior season playing for the Blue Devils, he averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and three blocks.
Ford commented on Middleton's presence in his program when they first took the UMass coaching job together.
"Steve [Middleton] is well respected by our players, and brings a lot of credibility as a former player and high school head coach to our staff," Ford said.
Middleton's arrest was the second for the UMass basketball program in the last two months. The first came days before the Minutemen left for Cincinnati to face first-round opponent Xavier - a game that UMass lost 65-56.
Junior Stephane Lasme was arrested on March 5 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest outside of a bar in downtown Amherst. The junior forward was fined $200 and was convicted on a "non-criminal charge of resisting arrest."
Lasme confessed to enough facts for a conviction on the disorderly conduct charge. The hearing was postponed until Sep. 26. Lasme's criminal record will be cleared if he steers clear of trouble until then.
(C) 2006 Massachusetts Daily Collegian via CSTV U-WIRE