Starsia: Rhamel Bratton Won't Play Saturday
Rhamel Bratton's indefinite suspension will not be lifted for Saturday's NCAA Division I quarterfinals at Hofstra, Virginia men's lacrosse coach Dom Starsia said Tuesday in a prerecorded interview for the Lacrosse Magazine Podcast.
"His status is unchanged at this moment. He will not be activated for this weekend’s games," Starsia said. "He’s got some academic matters he’s got to tend to here in town, and he may join us at Hofstra."
Bratton, a second team All-American midfielder last year, has not played since the Cavaliers' ACC semifinal loss April 22 to Duke due to a second violation of team rules this year. Bratton's twin brother, first team All-American midfielder Shamel, was dismissed from the team for the same violation, his third. The latest violation reportedly occured when the brothers attended the funeral of the mother of Maryland lacrosse player Ryan Young on Long Island, an excused absence from practice, but did not report for the next practice with other teammates who had also attended the funeral.
The Brattons' absense from Virginia's lineup, combined with season-ending shoulder surgery for Matt Lovejoy and a hobbled Steele Stanwick (foot, calf), has forced the Cavaliers to adjust the way they play -- namely in terms of tempo and shot generation.
"People have [asked] is it possible you’re better without Rhamel and Shamel, in particular. My answer to that is absolutely not," Starsia said. "We’re a different team borne of necessity. Maybe out of desperation, guys are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful."
Seventh-seeded Virginia will play second-seeded Cornell at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y., in the first quarterfinal Saturday at noon (ESPN2). The entire interview with Starsia will be posted Wednesday as part of the Lacrosse Magazine Podcast. Among other topics discussed: the spirited huddles during the Cavs' comeback against Bucknell, Stanwick's toughness and more be-careful-what-you-wish-for sentiments on the coaching carousel.