NIU player charged with felonious assault for running into UT band memberWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Illinois linebacker Jamaal Bass was indicted on March 16 by a Lucas County grand jury facing one felonious assault charge and one count of misdemeanor assault after an incident in his team’s matchup against Toledo on Nov. 1. He is charged with intentionally running into a member of the Toledo marching band and pushing over another.
Bass, a 20-year-old native of Miramir, Fla., is entering his sophomore season at linebacker for the Huskies. He faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison for the felony charge. The arraignment date has yet to be set.
“As the legal proceedings in Toledo involving NIU football player Jamaal Bass are ongoing, we will reserve any comment until that process is complete,” said Northern Illinois athletic director Jeff Compher in a statement. “Jamaal is currently enrolled at [NIU], and his status with the football program has not changed.”
Bass was suspended the following three games by NIU head coach Dave Doeren, who had originally suspended him one contest before discovering the band members had suffered concussions.
“I want to publicly apologize to the Rocket Marching Band and to the University of Toledo,” said Doeren in a statement released after the game. “We are embarrassed at what occurred and take full responsibility for the situation. I will do whatever is necessary to ensure that something like this never happens again.”
As members of the UT band began running off the field, members of the Huskies ran onto the field directly through them as they charged off. Among them was Bass who appeared to launch his shoulder into freshman piccolo player Alex Hirtz. Three other band members were also injured in the incident, only one other allegedly by Bass.
The incident occurred during a game broadcast nationally on ESPN2. It can be seen in slow motion here . Bass wears the No. 6 jersey.
“I can understand if a football player gets in the zone,” said Hirtz to the Independent Collegian on Nov. 2, who reported the players were instructed to wait for the band to pass. “I was a band member just getting off the field. I wasn’t doing anything to provoke them.”
Hirtz said an NIU coach helped him up and another band member claimed she could see Huskie players “smiling through their facemasks.” Hirtz also said that Bass’ suspension was not serious enough, but was better than nothing.