MAC Player of the Year Justin Moss expelled from UB
Expulsion comes after involvement in on-campus theft
The Buffalo men’s basketball team suffered a mass exodus of players after last season. And on Monday, its most prolific remaining player joined the list.
Senior forward and reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Justin Moss has been expelled from UB and subsequently dismissed from the basketball team after an on-campus theft earlier this summer.
The theft occurred on June 2, when Moss and teammates Mory Diane and Raheem Johnson were caught stealing $650 from an on-campus apartment of two UB football players in South Lake Village. Moss, Diane and Johnson were hired as summer employees to change out batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Moss goes up against Kent State in UB's 80-55 victory in January. Moss was expelled from UB and removed from the men's basketball team on Monday.
UB Athletics declined to comment on the matter and referred The Spectrum to a statement released Monday by UB spokesperson John Della Contrada.
“Justin Moss is not currently enrolled in classes at the University at Buffalo, nor is he participating in university activities. Because of federal privacy laws protecting student records, the university cannot comment further on this matter," Della Contrada said.
Della Contrada’s statement also specified that Diane and Johnson are enrolled in classes for the fall semester and will remain on the Bulls’ roster.
According to The Buffalo News, this was Moss's second offense. The forward was already on probation for a prior theft during his tenure, which occurred during the fall 2014 semester.
Moss was suspended for Buffalo's first exhibition game of the 2014-15 season last fall. At the time, former head coach Bobby Hurley would only specify that Moss's offense was a violation of team rules.
The university police report deemed the June theft a second-degree burglary with an illegal entry into a dwelling and the incident was handed over to the Student-Wide Judiciary because the victims did not file charges.
Moss, Diane and Johnson were accordingly fired from their summer jobs and suspended from the basketball team, according to the police report.
New Bulls head coach Nate Oats coached Moss and Johnson at Romulus High School in Detroit, Michigan before the three reunited in Buffalo. Moss joined the Bulls in 2013, while Johnson joined the following year.
Last season was a breakout season for Moss, as his 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game netted him the MAC Player of the Year Award, First Team All-MAC Honors and a spot on the Honorable Mention All-American Team. Moss was also one of 23 finalists for the Karl Malone Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best power forward.
Moss was expected to be the starting power forward for a Bulls team that lost two starters last year, including guard Shannon Evans, who departed in April to Arizona State to join Hurley.
Johnson averaged 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 33 games last season. Diane played in just four games as a freshman last year before being ruled academically ineligible for the second half of the season.
The Bulls begin their season in November.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Quentin Haynes is the co-senior sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.