For the second straight year, the George Mason basketball team will start the year short-handed as the school announced three-game suspensions for sophomore center Erik Copes and sophomore guard Vaughn Gray for “student-athlete conduct violations.”
The timing is bad for the Patriots, who open with a competitive schedule, playing host to Virginia on Friday, at Patriot League power Bucknell on Tuesday, and against defending CIT champion Mercer on Nov. 16 in the Paradise Jam.
Copes and Gray, both set to play major roles for the team, will return for the Patriots’ final two games of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.
Lack of discipline has been a growing problem for the program. Guard Sherrod Wright was suspended in the preseason, missing last week’s exhibition victory over Bowie State. Guard Andre Cornelius missed the first 10 games last year after pleading guilty to credit card fraud.
Some of George Mason’s top players, including Cam Long and Ryan Pearson, have also served suspensions in recent seasons.