Red-shirt sophomores Rakeem Brookins and Trenity Burdine have been suspended for the first three games of Siena’s men’s basketball season for violating athletic department policy.

Both players will be eligible to return to Siena’s active rotation for the November 17 game against Northern Kentucky in the NUCDF Basketball Challenge in San Diego, Calif. Brookins and Burdine are permitted to participate in practice and other team activities will serving their suspension.

“I appreciate that both Rakeem and Trenity have taken responsibility for their actions and have responded in a positive way,” director of athletics John D’Argenio said. “Accountability is one of the expectations we have of all of our student athletes. I know both young men are committed to Siena, their teammates and our program, and both are anxious to help us compete for a MAAC championship.”

No further details on the suspension will be made available, and neither player will be made available to the media beyond the statements included in this release.

Brookins is expected to be the team’s starting off-guard. He sat out last season with herniated and bulging disks in his back after averaging nine points and 4.3 assists as a freshman point guard in 2010-11.

“I’m disappointed in my actions, and fully support the department’s decision,” Brookins said. “I’m looking forward to a great season, and can’t wait to get back on the court and help my teammates compete for a MAAC Championship. For now, my focus is on getting better each day in practice, and doing what I can to help get the team ready for Vermont.”

Burdine is also expected to be a major contributor this season. He missed the 2011-12 season with a foot injury, but saw action in all 31 games and making three starts as a rookie in 2010-11.

“This obviously isn’t the way I wanted to begin the year, but I understand and agree with the decision that was made,” Burdine said. “I can promise Siena fans I’ll give 100 percent effort on and off the court the rest of my career. I’m excited about the chance to get back and contribute, and the opportunity to participate in practice to help the team get ready for the season.”

The preceding information was provided by Jason Rich, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at Siena College.

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