Ahead of its biggest nonconference game of the season, Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. has been suspended for a “violation of team rules,” the Jayhawks announced Thursday night. Per the Kansas City Star, Kansas head coach Bill Self said in a statement that the suspension was unrelated to the current rape investigation stemming from an incident that allegedly took place in December at the men’s basketball team dorm.
“Carlton is suspended for a violation of team rules,” Self said. “This violation is not connected to the alleged incident in McCarthy Hall on December 17th.”
Bragg was previously benched for a December 10 contest against Nebraska after being arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery. He was later released—and the charges were dropped—after surveillance video obtained by police showed per reports, his girlfriend, Saleeha Soofi, shoving and slapping him in the chest before he retaliated and pushed her. Soofi is now being prosecuted on battery charges, and pleaded not guilty in court this past Wednesday.
It was revealed by the Star on Friday that the domestic-abuse case was the second Bragg has been involved in since September. According to the Star, police looked into a September 16 report of battery involving a 19-year old woman and her boyfriend. (The Star cites a police report that states Bragg was the involved male but that the woman involved was not Soofi.) The alleged battery occurred around 3:30 a.m. at McCarthy Hall, where Bragg was reported to have closed the woman’s arm in a door, resulting in bruising.
The case was referred to the Douglas County District Attorney, but files were not charged, with the assistant to the DA claiming the DA had “insufficient evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.” The case was closed September. 29; Kansas spokesperson Jim Marchiony told the Star that Kansas was aware of the incident.
In other Kansas-related news, police are also currently investigating a drug case that stemmed from the initial rape investigation. Lawrence police say drug paraphernalia—a pair of bongs, apparently—was found at the scene when investigating the December 17 report of rape at McCarthy Hall, and the office is now pursuing a charge of use of drug paraphernalia or the possession thereof with intent to use it against an unnamed suspect. The Kansas Office of Public Safety declined, though, to identify the suspect after they were presented with a notice to appear in court, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Marchiony told the Star he could not confirm whether a team member was the suspect in the case. The assistant to the Douglas County DA, Crystal Wright-Kunard, did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.
The No. 2 Jayhawks will go on the road to face No. 4 Kentucky tonight at 6:15 p.m. With Bragg out, Kansas will be limited to eight scholarship players as it tries to bounce back from a midweek loss to West Virginia.