Nearly three weeks after West Virginia senior guard Tynice Martin was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, new details have emerged regarding Martin’s alleged transgressions, but her status for the upcoming season remains unknown.
The West Virginia MetroNews reported on August 23 that the Morgantown Police Department charged Martin with domestic battery after she and another woman allegedly went to the home of Martin’s ex-girlfriend on July 15 and pushed the ex-girlfriend against a storm door, pulled her hair, beat her, and choked her. Martin was arraigned on August 2 and was suspended from the basketball team a day later. Her next court date is pending.
On August 21, West Virginia Mike Carey told High Post Hoops, “I really don’t [have any updates]. … she’s been suspended indefinitely and we’ll go from there. I really can’t comment or anything at this time, but we’ll see where that goes. … We’ll see what happens.”
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Just over 24 hours later, The Dominion Post provided the following statement from Martin’s attorney, Rocky Gianola: “Our position is very clear. We’re aware of the allegations. There’s always two sides to every story, but we take allegations of domestic violence very serious and our investigation is still ongoing. And until we complete our thorough investigation we’ll have no comment.”
The West Virginia MetroNews also reported that court records revealed that Martin was cited for possession of a controlled substance on December 29, 2018, the day of the Mountaineers’ home game against Niagara. Martin did not play in that game in what the school called a “precautionary measure,” but was never suspended and returned to the court four days later against TCU. On February 15, Martin pleaded no contest—which means she accepted punishment from the court without admitting guilt—and she paid a fine of $215.25 on August 5.
Martin’s suspension stemming from the domestic battery charge caused her to miss the team’s foreign tour of Italy and Greece earlier this month. Without Martin, the team only brought 10 players on the trip, some of whom are injured and did not play in games against the Dutch and Greek national teams. According to a West Virginia spokesperson, the team’s lack of depth was a contributing factor in Carey’s decision to cancel the second of three games scheduled during the trip.
If Martin misses any games this fall, of course, that would have greater ramifications than merely a shorter bench. Martin currently ranks eleventh on the school’s all-time scoring list and is a two-time All-Big XII First Team honoree. Her experience in the Mountaineers’ program was also set to be important for a team featuring seven new players and a new associate head coach, Bett Shelby.
The Mountaineers will resume individual workouts on Monday in preparation for the 2019-20 season, which begins with an exhibition game against Salem University on October 29.
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