2 WVU basketball players held in scuffle at PNC Park

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Published on:
Jul/30/2008
Cam Thoroughman Joe Mazzulla

Two members of the West Virginia University basketball team were arrested after an altercation last night with security officers at PNC Park.

Joe Mazzulla and Cam Thoroughman were arrested after a scuffle at the security station where they had been detained by off-duty police officers working during the Pirates game against the Colorado Rockies.

The two are charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and underage drinking.

Police had to call for backup because Mr. Mazzulla and Mr. Thoroughman, both 20, were refusing to provide identification as they argued with the officers, according to a complaint.

During the argument, Mr. Thoroughman claimed he was 17 years old. He later amended that to say he was 18. Police later found documents on him that showed he is 20, and that he is from Stout, Ohio.

Police said Mr. Thoroughman, a 6-foot, 7-inch forward on the Mountaineers team, reached across a counter toward an officer.

This led to at least two officers grabbing him as they demanded that he place his hands behind his back.

He continued to struggle with the officers after police used a burst of pepper spray to control him. Eventually officers dragged him to the floor, police said.

While Mr. Thoroughman was down, Mr. Mazzulla tried to intervene, pulling his teammate away from the officers, even throwing a punch at one of them before he, too, was subdued, according to officers.

Mr. Mazzulla, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Johnston, R.I., had no identification on his person, police said.

Police said the breath of both players smelled of alcohol.

No injuries were reported.

Mr. Mazzulla, who also faces an aggravated assault charge, was arraigned this morning and was to be released on a nonmonetary bond.

West Virginia basketball Coach Bob Huggins said, "We are aware of the situation. We will let the judicial process take its course and the matter will be handled internally."

Mr. Mazzulla, the heir-apparent to Darris Nichols at starting point guard, was a star off the bench last season for the Mountaineers (26-11), who reached the NCAA tournament's Sweet Sixteen. He was the player of the game in the second-round West Region upset of second-seeded Duke by nearly compiling a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Mr. Mazzulla, a rising junior, played in all 37 games last season and finished fifth on the team with 8.5 points per game to go with 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Mr. Mazzulla was named to the all-league team in the recently completed Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am summer league in Green Tree.

Mr. Thoroughman played in 16 games and averaged 0.6 points and 1.3 rebounds as a freshman last season.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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