Junior football star suspended for term

by Austin Zalkin | 10/30/00 6:00am

Damien Roomets '02, the Dartmouth football team's most productive wide receiver this season, has been suspended by the College for the remainder of Fall term due to his involvement in an altercation with other Dartmouth students.

According to an athletic department press release and John Lyons, Dartmouth's head football coach, Roomets will be eligible to re-apply to Dartmouth for the Winter term.

"He was in an altercation -- that's really all I'm allowed to say," Lyons said in an interview with The Dartmouth on Saturday. "It was the night of the UNH game."

While Lyons would not comment on the specifics of the incident, the only fight reported by Safety and Security the night after the football team played the University of New Hampshire on Sept. 23 took place outside Topliff dormitory early in the morning of Sept. 24.

After that altercation between several undergraduates and several graduate students, only Dan Casella '02 was arrested and charged by the Hanover Police.

Roomets could not be reached for comment.

Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone said in an interview Saturday evening that no other individuals will be arrested for their involvement in the Topliff altercation. He said Roomets had not been charged.

Dean of the College James Larimore, who is the chair of the Committee on Students, declined to comment on the case, citing COS's confidentiality policy.

He did say, "after the incident out in front of Topliff there was quite an extensive investigation coordinated by Safety and Security."

He said S&S's report was sent to Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Officer Marcia Kelly, and "the decision was made that there would be a COS hearing involving those undergraduates who were involved."

Kelly also declined to comment on the case, but confirmed that she had received the S&S report on the Topliff fight.

Lyons said Roomets "went in front of the COS and went through the process and was suspended" as a result of the altercation. Lyons said he was notified of COS's decision Friday morning.

"I knew about it shortly after it happened," Lyons said of the incident.

Roomets sat out for the first time in this weekend's 49-7 loss to Harvard. He will not play in the team's remaining three games.

Lyons said Roomets will be allowed to rejoin the team upon his expected return.

Lyons also confirmed that another member of the football team was involved in the altercation, but said the unnamed player had been cleared by COS.

"He was found not guilty of the whole situation," Lyons said of the player.

Lyons said the investigation of Roomets had caused some trouble for the team.

"It was a bit of a distraction, that going on this week," Lyons said.

"It really affected Damien the last couple of weeks because with that whole thing up in the air, it really took away from his play a little bit."

Roomets was leading the football team with 43 receptions for 483 yards and three touchdowns. Against UNH, he broke a school single-game record with 17 receptions, but was reportedly despondent after the contest because of a fumble he had lost.