Junior College Basketball Team Punished Because School President Bailed A Player Out Of Jail

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Folks in Iowa call the basketball rivalry between Indian Hills Community College and Southeastern Community College the "War on 34," a reference to the U.S. highway that connects the two schools. On Feb. 16, Indian Hills won on the road at Southeastern to sweep the season series. The game went to double overtime, and after it was over, there was a brawl, some of which you can see in the crappy video above. And as they say down on the farm, shit got real: Nine players—five from Indian Hills, four from Southeastern—were hit with suspensions. So was Indian Hills head coach Barret Peery.

But one player—Indian Hills guard Ronald Ross, a sophomore and the Warriors' second-leading scorer—was charged with assault. Ross had allegedly punched Billy Carroll, the son of Southeastern coach Terry Carroll. Billy Carroll is neither a player nor a coach, and it's not clear why he was even involved in the brawl. But that night, after his arrest, Ross was bailed out of jail by Jim Lindenmeyer, the president of Indian Hills. In a statement, Lindenmeyer gave a rather reasonable reason for his actions: "I feel strongly that when we leave our campus with students in our care it is our duty to return them safely to campus. This is what I would expect of any staff member and what I would expect as a parent of a child under college supervision."


One problem: The NJCAA has a rule that prohibits college officials from posting bail for a school's athletes. Lindenmeyer self-reported what he did last week, but in his statement, he also said he wasn't aware that posting bail had constituted a violation. (Bailing a player out also breaks NCAA rules, but the infraction is considered minor.) The NJCAA didn't care that Ross would have been left alone about 80 miles away from the Indian Hills campus, or that he hadn't, you know, been convicted of anything. Indian Hills was hit with probation today and declared ineligible for postseason play. The Warriors are 26-4 and ranked third in the country in NJCAA Division I. Their season is now over.

[Ottumwa Courier; h/t to Benji]