Shamel Bratton Dismissed From Virginia Lacrosse Team; Rhamel Suspended Indefinitely
Two-time first-team All-American midfielder Shamel Bratton has been kicked off the Virginia men's lacrosse team for a violation of team policies, the university announced Friday afternoon, and his twin brother Rhamel Bratton is suspended from the team indefinitely.
"I want to wish Shamel the very best in his future endeavors," Virginia coach Dom Starsia said in a statement released through the university. "He has made many contributions to the program. At the same time, there are standards of behavior within the framework of the team that we expect to be met by all of our student-athletes. Failure to do so on a consistent basis has resulted in the loss of the privilege of being a member of this team."
Shamel Bratton was voted off the team by teammates Wednesday after a third violation of team rules this spring, according to The Washington Post. Virginia players also reportedly voted to suspend his brother, Rhamel, indefinitely for a second violation of team rules. Starsia told The Daily Progress (Va.) Friday that Rhamel has indeed been suspended indefinitely.
The incident leading to the news involves the brothers travelling to Long Island Monday to attend the funeral of the mother of Maryland lacrosse player Ryan Young.
The Brattons did not attend practice Monday to attend the funeral, according to the Post. That missed practice was excused, and at least two other Long Island-native Virginia players were reportedly at the funeral, including starting goaltender Adam Ghitelman and his brother Jacob. The Brattons are from Huntington on Long Island.
However, the Ghitelmans returned for practice Tuesday, according to the Post. Shamel and Rhamel Bratton did not.
Shamel Bratton had twice been suspended for a game earlier this season for violating team rules. The senior was suspended first for the Cavaliers road game at Stony Brook Feb. 26 and again for a home game against Maryland April 2. After the Maryland game, Starsia termed Shamel Bratton's suspension "indefinite," but the senior midfielder returned for Virginia's next game against North Carolina.
Rhamel was also suspended for the Stony Brook game for violating team rules. Starsia did not address his indefinite suspension relating to the latest incident Friday in a brief, three-paragraph statement.
The 11th-ranked Cavaliers (8-5) host No. 13 Penn (8-4) at 3 p.m. Saturday in a game that carries NCAA tournament implications for both teams. The Cavaliers, who have lost four of their last five games, will be without two of their best players: Shamel Bratton, now a former player, and Rhamel Bratton, apparently hanging on to his place on the team for now.
Shamel Bratton ends his Virginia career with 129 points, the most among Cavaliers' midfielders all-time.