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St. Joseph’s Halil Kanacevic suspended for flipping the bird

Dec 12, 2012, 8:30 PM EST

Halil Kanacevic AP

Halil Kanacevic will be suspended for two games after he flipped off the Villanova student section after hitting a three in St. Joseph’s 65-61 loss to the Wildcats in the Holy War on Tuesday night.

Kanacevic will sit out a Dec. 22nd meeting with Fairfield and a Dec. 28th game against Iona. He’ll be eligible to return on Dec. 31st against Drexel.

Kanacevic will also be suspended from practice and all team activities for the next week.

“There is no place for obscene gestures or personal outbursts directed at anyone,” said head coach Phil Martelli. “We have always sought to conduct ourselves in a respectful manner to our University and to our opponents, and this behavior was unacceptable and inexcusable, even in the heat of the moment.”

“The tradition of the Philadelphia Big 5 and the reputation of Saint Joseph’s University are greater than any one game or any one player,” added SJU director of athletics Don DiJulia. “In a meeting earlier today with myself and Coach Martelli, Halil was appropriately remorseful and accepting of this sanction. We have reinforced the expectations of our student-athletes, on and off the court.”

“We hope this incident serves as a ‘teachable moment’ for all of our coaches, student-athletes and supporters. We have also apologized to the appropriate parties at Villanova and extend that to all those who attended the game and watched on national television.”

Kanacevic gave an apology in a statement:

“My actions were wrong and embarrassing and I strongly regret them. I made a mistake and I accept total responsibility for my behavior. I am sorry for the harm caused to my teammates and coaches and my actions were unbecoming of a member of our community. I sincerely apologize to both universities and to everyone who saw the game.”