Iona small forward Roland Griffin was dismissed from the program on Saturday per Stadium's Jeff Goodman, ending his time with the Gaels after a "physical altercation with assistant coach Garfield 'Ricky' Johns" on Monday morning. Griffin's punches were "in self-defense" according to Goodman.
“Iona College takes all matters of health and safety seriously,” Iona said in a statement provided to Stadium. “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.”
Johns reportedly "spent nearly eight hours in the hospital" due to the fight, suffering a head injury. According to Stadium, Griffin and his mother filed a police report over the incident on Friday.
The pair had engaged in a number of verbal altercations prior to Monday's fight per Goodman. But after a shouting match in the team locker room on Monday, a dispute over Griffin's study-hall schedule turned physical.
“We got in each other’s face,” Griffin told Goodman. “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.”
Griffin was Iona's third-leading scorer in 2017–18 averaging 11.2 points per game. He transferred to Iona after his freshman season at Illinois State in 2015-16.
Johns joined Iona in 2016. He is the Gaels' Director of Basketball Operations.