5 Quinnipiac basketball players granted accelerated rehabilitation

Marcus Harun

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Quinnipiac men's basketball coach Tom Moore walks into Meriden Superior Court Tuesday morning.
Quinnipiac men’s basketball players James Johnson, Jamee Jackson, Dave Johnson, Ike Azotam and Nate Gause were granted accelerated rehabilitation and community service hours today in exchange for clear criminal records for their involvement in an on campus fight last September.

The five players appeared in Meriden Superior Court this afternoon before Judge Philip Scarpellino. The players’ families and coach, Tom Moore, were in attendance.

Scarpellino granted both James Johnson and Jackson two years of the accelerated rehabilitation program and 200 hours of individual community service, outside the service the basketball team does together. They equally have to share the costs of paying back the victims their medical expenses in verifiable out-of-pocket restitution.


Dave Johnson and Azotam were granted a one-year accelerated rehabilitation program and 50 hours of individual community service. The judge granted Gause an 18-month accelerated rehabilitation program and 100 hours of individual community service.

“You need to grow from this,” Scarpellino said. “Whether you like it or not, you are looked up to by some in the university.”

Scarpellino told all five players, “no unwanted contact with the victims.”

If all five students follow the court’s orders then their cases will all be dismissed, their defense attorney Thomas Lynch said.

James Johnson and Jackson applied for accelerated rehabilitation on Dec. 6, 2011. Junior Dave Johnson, Azotam and Gause requested continuances, but today the three applied for accelerated rehabilitation. The notice to victims was waived because victims were already notified about today’s appearance.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Oct. 24 and postponed twice pending an additional police report.

James Johnson, a senior, and Azotam, a sophomore, were charged with assault and breach of peace on Sept. 18. They pleaded not guilty to the charges at their arraignment Sept. 26. The students were sanctioned by the university on Oct. 6. The other three players confessed to Hamden Police Dec. 1 to their involvement in the incident. Jackson was charged with conspiracy to commit assault and assault in the third degree and second-degree breach of peace, while Dave Johnson and Gause were charged with third-degree conspiracy to commit assault and second-degree breach of peace.