Michigan basketball coach Tommy Amaker announced yesterday that he has suspended guard Daniel Horton from games and practice, following Monday’s arraignment on a domestic violence charge. Amaker said Horton is suspended indefinitely until he receives more information on the case.
“Given the seriousness and the sensitivity of the situation, we feel it is in everyone’s best interest that we suspend Daniel pending further notice,” Amaker said in a prepared statement. “We feel that this is the right course of action at this time.”
Although magistrate Michael Gattin said Horton would be allowed to leave the state for basketball games — a privilege usually denied those facing assault charges — today’s announced suspension requires that he remain behind while his team goes on the road.
As a scholarship athlete, the guard will still have access to weight-training and academic facilities.
“I understand the severity of the situation I’m in,” Horton said yesterday in a statement. “I feel embarrassed about it, and I’m very sorry that my family, team and school have to deal with it too. I understand why the consequences have happened, and I will continue to do whatever I can to help the situation.”
The charges against Horton include grabbing his girlfriend around the neck and choking her on Dec. 10. His girlfriend filed a police report three days later.
On Monday, Horton was arraigned by the 15th District Court after turning himself in on a warrant for his arrest. Horton could potentially receive up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted.
The suspension comes at a tough time for the Wolverines, who have not had their lineup in tact since the beginning of the season. Tomorrow, Michigan travels to East Lansing to go up against No. 15 Michigan State.
Junior Chris Hunter has also been out since sustaining an ankle injury on Jan. 5 in Michigan’s win against Iowa. Hunter and Horton have never been absent from the lineup at the same time. Horton averages 13.4 points per game, while Hunter averages 11.2 points per game.
Injuries have plagued the Wolverines for the bulk of the season. Hunter has been out since Jan. 5, and sophomore Brent Petway missed two games this month because of a shoulder injury.
Horton has already missed six games due to a sprained left knee, and at the beginning of the season, captain Lester Abram aggravated a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the entire season.
Senior Dani Wohl also missed pre-season matchups because of a hand injury.
On Saturday, it appeared as if Horton might have sustained another serious injury, when he fell to the ground, and held his right knee — the knee that had not been injured previously.
He had to be carried off the court and did not return for the remainder of the contest.
According to Amaker, the trainers have indicated that his right knee is healthy and that Saturday’s injury would not have prevented him from playing.
The Wolverines have become accustomed to playing without a full roster and thus have had to shuffle players around the floor several times already.
“We’re always hoping to have a full lineup and a full team,” Amaker said. “We haven’t been able to do that for a variety of reasons, and this is another reason.”
Captain Graham Brown expressed faith in the resilience of his team.
“This team’s gone through a lot of stuff,” Brown said.
“We came back from a lot of stuff. We just have to keep trying to improve, and keep trying to move on. It’s just something we’re trying to build off of.”
As for the team’s stance on Horton’s situation, Brown indicated that the team will do what it can to support its teammate during this time, but that it must remain focused on its remaining games.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Brown said. “We’re just going to have to move on. Daniel’s going to have to deal with it himself. We’ll back him in whatever way we can, but we’re just going to have to go out there and worry about ourselves on the court.