James Madison's Rayshawn Goins Suspended For First Half, Now Let's Focus On The Game At Hand

By Jake Fischer
Credit: JMUSports.com

Rayshawn Goins, a 24-year old fifth-year senior at James Madison, was arrested on Sunday at 9:47 pm at JMU’s Convocation Center, just hours after the Dukes learned they would play LIU Brooklyn in the First Four Round of the NCAA Tournament.

If this happens in August, nobody cares. But, in a world where social media can turn a small town story into national headlines in a matter of minutes, Goins’ arrest was blasted around the country. Now that the dust has settled around the unfortunate event, we can sort out the facts from the rumors.

First, here is the official statement from Harrisonburg Police Dept. Lieutenant Kurt Boshart:

“At approximately 12:30 am on Sunday March 17, 2013 officers with the Harrisonburg Police Department were called to the 800 block of Port Republic Road for a large party out of control. When officers arrived they were informed by private security personnel, the party was too big and they asked for everyone to leave. As officers were attempting to disperse the more than 200 people from the premises, one individual began yelling obscenities at officers and enticing the crowd. He was told to leave several times by the officers and eventually was taken away by acquaintances. Due to the officers knowing who the individual was and the concern for the safety of the public should the crowd turn riotous, a decision was made not to arrest the individual at the time. Later in the evening…Police charged 24 year old Rayshawn Goins.”

Following the incident and the national media chomping at the bit to report this story, James Madison released an official statement today in regards to Goins’ punishment:

“In accordance with JMU athletic policy, Coach Matt Brady is suspending Rayshawn Goins for the first half of the NCAA Tournament game on Wednesday night in Dayton. After having thoroughly reviewed the details in this case, the athletic administration supports Coach Brady’s decision.  Matters involving student athletes are reviewed independently on a case-by-case basis.  Appropriate action is taken based on the details of each case.  At this time, there are no additional details to provide until this specific case processes through the legal system.”

Unfortunately for Goins, who the JMU Athletic Department instructed to not speak to the media, the incident came just hours before the team’s matchup with LIU Brooklyn. Goins’ is arguably the biggest personality on the team and face of the JMU basketball program this season. He’s the team’s leading scorer and rebounder on the season.

But, most importantly, he’s a college kid. College kids are prone to make mistakes. Goins made a mistake, and now he’s accepting the consequences. Let’s all move forward and talk about the Dukes’ game against the Blackbirds.

Goins has obviously been an intricate part of the Dukes’ success this season, and he was a dominant force for JMU in their championship game victory over Northeastern. Goins had 14 points and 13 rebounds in that victory, and 13 of his points were scored in the first half.

Thus, as the senior forward clearly can have a big impact for coach Brady in short spurts, saving him for the first half might actually benefit the Dukes. With fresh legs following intermission, and playing in front of family and friends — Goins grew up less than 4 hours away in Cleveland — the big man could definitely be an X-Factor for JMU in the second half.


Jake Fischer is the CAA Columnist for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. He also hosts the CAA Relay Podcast. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.

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