Jamirah Shutes, a senior guard on the Memphis women’s basketball team, pleaded not guilty to an assault charge after she was accused of punching a Bowling Green player in the face following the Tigers’ loss in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) last week, officials confirmed.
The City of Bowling Green Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to Fox News Digital that an attorney representing Shutes entered a not-guilty plea in court on Wednesday.
The office representing Shutes did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
MEMPHIS’ JAMIRAH SHUTES CHARGED WITH ASSAULT FOR ALLEGEDLY PUNCHING BGSU’S ELISSA BRETT IN HANDSHAKE LINE
The Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Police Department issued a press release on Friday to announce that Shutes had been charged with assault after an “unwarranted physical incident” in which she was captured on video punching Falcons guard Elissa Brett in the face during the handshake line.
“Violence is never acceptable, and our priority remains the health, safety and support of our student-athlete, who is recovering and doing well. This is an active investigation in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green Prosecutor, and no further comment is available at this time,” the statement read.
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The incident happened at the conclusion of the Memphis-BGSU Sweet 16 matchup. As both teams approached mid-court to shake hands, Shutes appeared to stop when she reached Brett.
Shutes then appeared to sucker-punch Brett, forcing her to the floor.
According to an incident report provided by BGSU, Shutes allegedly struck Brett in the face “with a closed fist,” resulting in “some swelling in [Brett’s] right eye.”
A member of the Tigers coaching staff then appeared to grab Shutes and escort her off the court.
Memphis released a statement Friday to confirm that it was working with local authorities, adding that the incident “was extremely unfortunate and certainly not consistent with, or representative of, our expectations for our programs and student-athletes.”