Shaq Johnson wasn't a poster boy for good behavior when he arrived on campus at Longwood. His actions on August 31 may have cemented an image of a troubled star, perhaps for a long time.
Johnson has been charged with a felony offense of malicious wounding, which is defined as "the attempt to maliciously stab, cut, or wound with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill." If convicted Johnson could face up to 20 years in prison and a hefty fine.
The trouble began with a dance off at a party according to The Rotunda. Apparently unhappy with the results of the dance competition, Johnson swung at the other contestant, a student at Hampden-Sydney College. The punch connected causing the victim to lose several teeth.
Police say that alcohol played a major role in the incident and The Rotunda noted that Johnson was under age at the time of the party.
The Rotunda received this comment from Longwood athletics:
"Shaquille is in school now and going about his business as a Longwood student and student-athlete as he should," said Assistant VP for Athletics Communications, Chris Cook. "With respect to due process and the privacy that should be given to both parties, we will await further details on the matter before commenting any further. He is still a member of the basketball team and he has our full support."
Johnson had previous issues with the law at Auburn where he was dismissed from the team for possession of marijuana.
The potential loss of Johnson eats into the back court strength that Lancers coach Jayson Gee had been building at the school. Obviously having a high major talent at a school in the Big South was going to give the program a major edge in the league. Without Johnson, Longwood may use the opportunity to run more three-guard sets, and it would open up playing time for Kanayo Obi-Rapu, DJ Allen and Ryan Badowski.
Johnson will appear at a hearing on October 27.