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SoCalHoops College News

  UCLA's Rico Hines Suspended
For Two Games--(Oct. 12, 2000)

We've read several different press releases on this suspension.  First, here's the short version of the story from AP:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA basketball player Rico Hines has been suspended from the Bruins' first two games -- one an exhibition contest -- for a violation of team rules. "Rico broke a team rule and will accept the consequences for his actions," UCLA coach Steve Lavin said Thursday. "He has been a team leader for us over the years, and he knows what it means to learn from your mistakes." Hines, a senior, must sit out UCLA's exhibition game against Team Concept Nov. 1 at Pauley Pavilion, and will miss the Bruins' regular-season opener, against Kansas Nov. 9 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in New York. He will be allowed to play the following day in the Bruins' final game in the tournament against Kentucky or St. John's. Hines, who averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 29 games last season will be allowed to participate in the Bruins' daily practices starting Saturday.

Then there's the slightly longer, but no more illuminating version from UCLA's own official SID (which is also available on the official UCLA Basketball website):

Rico Hines Suspended For First Two Games For Violating Team Rules 

Will miss Team Concept and Kansas games
Oct. 12, 2000

UCLA senior Rico Hines has been suspended from the Bruins' first two games of the 2000-2001 season for a violation of team rules, UCLA head coach Steve Lavin announced today. 

Hines will not play in UCLA's exhibition opener in Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday, Nov. 1 vs. Team Concept. He will also miss UCLA's regular-season opener, a Nov. 9 meeting with Kansas in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament is a two-day (Nov. 9-10) affair. On Nov. 9, UCLA plays Kansas and Kentucky faces St. John's and on Nov. 10, the loser's and winner's bracket games will take place. Hines can return to the Bruin lineup on Nov. 10. He will be allowed to participate in the Bruins' daily practices (UCLA opens practice on Saturday, Oct. 14). 

From Greenville, NC, Hines has appeared in 72 games during his three-year Bruin career, starting 15 contests and averaging a career 12.8 minutes a game. As a junior last season, he appeared in 29 games with seven starts. He averaged 14.7 minutes, 3.4 points, and 2.1 rebounds. 

"Rico broke a team rule and will accept the consequences for his actions," Lavin said. "He has been a team leader for us over the years and he knows what it means to learn from your mistakes. "

Finally, we stopped in over at, which is where Frank Burlison now writes his columns, and as usual, Frank had the real story, which involved Rico, Matt Barnes, a metal folding chair and some stitches on the head of Matt Barnes to close the wound which Hines inflicted. Here's an excerpt from Frank's story (the full story can be found at this link)

Bruins' headache
UCLA's Hines suspended for hitting teammate

Oct 12, 2000 10:40 p.m. ET

The two-game suspension of UCLA basketball player Rico Hines announced by the school Thursday came as the result of a fight with teammate Matt Barnes — in which he struck Barnes over the head with a metal chair — during an Oct. 4 pickup game in Pauley Pavilion, has learned.

The school's press release didn't identify the nature of Hines' "violation of team rules," but multiple sources told that the suspension — the senior forward will miss a Nov. 1 exhibition contest and the team's season-opening game against Kansas in New York City on Nov. 9 — was
decided by Bruins coach Steve Lavin and the school's administration as a result of the fight.

Hines, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior, and Barnes, a 6-7, 230-pound junior, began taunting one another and arguing during one of the pickup games played among UCLA players in the late afternoon of Oct. 4.

That escalated into punches being thrown between the two before the brief scuffle was broken up by teammates.

Moments later, as the game was about to resume, Hines picked up a chair near the court and struck Barnes on the head — stitches were needed to close the wound — before he could be restrained and led away by teammates.

Although UCLA student trainers were in Pauley Pavilion at the time, coaches weren't present because NCAA rules prohibit them from viewing pickup games prior to the start of practice, which begins Saturday.

* * * *

Hines, who started seven games last year and averaged 3.4 points per game during the Bruins' 21-12 season, wouldn't discuss why he was suspended [at the team's annual Media Day on Thursday]. "I don't want to get into that," he said.

"We all make mistakes; we're all human. It's not like I'm a crazy person. I'm a human being. I'll just take my suspension like a man and get back and try to help the team."

Barnes, who was not disciplined for his part in the fight, was more expansive. "Me and Rico got into a dispute that got taken further than it should have," he said. "We've put it behind us. We're still friends . . . Rico is a real caring person; that wasn't Rico. He just snapped. He's willing to pay the consequences. He knows what he did was wrong. We just want to put it behind us."   Barnes, who averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds last season and is a likely starter this season, said the incident "may have brought the team closer together. "Two days later, we had a team meeting, talked and got a lot of things out. Rico said his apologies and I said mine. We're ready to move on." 

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