Roland Griffin was Iona’s top returning player. But, the team will be without him for the upcoming season after he was dismissed from the program after a physical altercation. According to a report by Stadium, Griffin discussed hitting his assistant coach, Garfield “Ricky” Johns, multiple times in self-defense.
Earlier this week, it is reported Johns spent eight hours in the hospital to treat his head injury. He did not return to work for the rest of the week.
“Iona College takes all matters of health and safety seriously,” the school said in a statement. “We take every action necessary to ensure the well-being of the members of our community. The College does not comment on student disciplinary matters or student information.”
In a report by the Stadium, Griffin discussed he getting into a verbal altercation with Johns after practice Monday morning. Johns told him he had to attend study hall, while Griffin stated he didn’t have it on his schedule. From there, things escalated, including the two men being nose to nose.
“I had a tutor later, and wasn’t scheduled for study hall,” Griffin said. “He started yelling at me.”
“We got in each other’s face,” Griffin continued. “It was really heated. He eventually grabbed me by the jacket and tried to throw me down on the ground physically. We were against the locker, wrestling against the locker. He was grabbing me and holding me.”
“He tried to wrestle me down, and I ended up on top. I’m not going to let another man physically do that to me. I punched him four or five times, then I stopped.”
It is reported later in the day on Monday, Griffin had a meeting with the athletic director at Iona and security to discuss the incident. Griffin was then temporarily suspended until Wednesday when more action was taken following his hearing with the school.
The university handed Griffin at disciplinary suspension through May 31, 2020 – he is not allowed to participate in any Iona related activities for academics or sports.
On Friday afternoon, Griffin joined his mother, Fay, to file a report with the police, Stadium reported.
Currently, no disciplinary action has been taken toward Johns for his involvement in the incident.