Jamine Peterson averaged a double-double as a redshirt sophomore at Providence. (Icon SMI)
By Ryan Feldman
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Jamine Peterson didn't think he was doing anything wrong.
Peterson thought he was just helping out the Providence men's basketball program. But doing so got him dismissed from Providence College. Now, he is trying to answer the critics and prove the doubters wrong in his quest towards the NBA.
Peterson had just come off a breakout season. He averaged 19.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game for the Friars and had 16 double-doubles as a redshirt sophomore during the 2009-10 season. Take a look at some of the numbers he put up: 29 points and 20 rebounds against Rutgers, 24 points and 18 rebounds against Pittsburgh, and 38 points and 16 rebounds in a 109-106 loss to Seton Hall in the Big East tournament.
Despite the loss in the Big East tournament, it was a special performance by Peterson. He had established himself as one of the most productive players in the Big East. And he was ready to burst onto the scene even more the next season.
But little did he know that the 38-point, 16-rebound performance at Madison Square Garden would be his final outing as a member of the Providence Friars men's basketball team.
According to reports, Peterson was dismissed from the Providence men's basketball team for a "violation of team rules" in May 2010. But the real story was never told publicly. Peterson said that the Providence coaching staff asked him and his teammates to keep quiet about the incident that led to his dismissal.
But did Peterson really deserve to be dismissed? According to Peterson, he is not the bad guy. Instead, he believes he was just used as a scapegoat.
After the season, on Saturday, April 25, 2010, a top-15 high school recruit in the class of 2012 was playing in the Jamfest Nationals AAU tournament in Providence with his AAU team, Expressions.
The recruit, a Providence native who lives just miles from the Providence College campus, was friends with a few of the Friars players. He called Peterson to see if he and some of his friends that played for another AAU team, BABC, could hang out on campus after the AAU tournament.
Peterson said that the Providence coaches were aware that the recruit, who was being recruited by Providence, would be hanging out on campus that night. Peterson said the coaches told him and the other players to "have a good time" with the recruit.
Peterson said that on his recruiting visit to Providence in high school he was introduced to a female who showed him a "good time."
Peterson understood that as tradition. He had seen it done throughout his time at Providence and he had introduced plenty of recruits to females. He thought he was just doing his part to help lure in the recruits. He never thought twice about it. He never thought he was doing anything wrong.
When recruits came to campus, he said that's what the Providence players did. They would find a willing female to show the recruits a "good time."
Peterson claims that the Providence coaches "would tell us to have a good time but be careful and stay out of trouble. They knew we were going to show him some love with a female."
That's exactly what Peterson did. He called a female who the Providence players called numerous times to perform oral sex on recruits. According to Peterson, "She always says that's her hobby. That's what she likes to do. She wants to be a porn star."
How many recruits does Peterson recall her performing oral sex on? "Let's just say she's in double figures."
The incident took place in Peterson's living room. Peterson lived with two teammates, but according to Peterson neither of them were there that night. One of his teammates, who Peterson chose to remain anonymous, was present. That player was a senior at the time.
"I was doing what they did to me when I was in the recruiting process," said Peterson. "Every time a recruit visits, the coaches would ask us if we can take them out and show them a good time."
After the incident, one of the kids involved told his mother about how good of a time he had at Providence and confessed to her that he and his friends had received oral sex from a female. The mother then became enraged and told the President of Providence College about the incident her son had described.
"Ricky told me that the kid went back and told his mom that he had a good time," Peterson said. "I know that for a fact."
This wasn't the first incident involving the Providence men's basketball team in spring 2010. It was the fourth incident in a matter of weeks after the season had ended. Father Shanley, the President of Providence College, had enough. He had to put his foot down.
A few weeks earlier, Friars players James Still and Vincent Council got in a fight with each other in a bar. No arrests were made from that incident.
Next, in a separate incident, Johnnie Lacy got in a fight with teammate Bilal Dixon in a bar. Again, there were no consequences.
Shortly after that incident, Lacy and teammate James Still severely beat up a fellow student while walking near campus in a random act of violence. The student suffered a broken nose, broken eye socket and brain trauma. Lacy and Still were arrested and charged with felony assault. Both Lacy and Still were suspended by Providence College. They were forced to leave campus and were not able to finish school for the semester.
With the occurrence of those three incidents, the Friars men's basketball team was in a state of flux.
After the mother told Father Shanley about the on-campus incident, Shanley had to do something about it. He couldn't tolerate another negative incident involving the Providence men's basketball team.
A few days after the incident, the Providence coaches called Peterson into their office to tell him what they had been told by Father Shanley.
The coaches asked Peterson what happened. He was straightforward and honest. He told the coaches exactly what happened, every detail of the incident.
The next day, Peterson was told he had to appear at a disciplinary hearing.
The next week, Peterson was at home in Brooklyn, N.Y., as the semester was over. The Providence coaches took a trip to Brooklyn to meet with Peterson. They warned him that there was a chance he could be dismissed from the college and they wanted to come up with a "Plan B" just in case that did happen.
Peterson discussed his options with his coaches.
"I can't comment much on the situation that led to (Jamine Peterson's dismissal) from Providence College," said former Providence head coach Keno Davis, who was subsequently fired last month. "There's not much I can comment on that."
With summer school approaching and his scholarship hanging in the balance, Peterson and his coaches mutually decided that it would be best for him to pursue a professional basketball career. Peterson did just that. He decided to leave the team and begin his pro career.
"I didn't want to have to go through all that drama and sit out until January or something like that," said Peterson. "That's why I decided to leave. I didn't want to go through all that hassle.
"They used me to set an example not only for basketball people but for all sports."
Peterson recalls Davis saying to him, "They're using you as a scapegoat."