It doesn’t affect his legal troubles related to a November 9 drunk driving accident on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway, but Seton Hall’s lifting of Keon Lawrence’s suspension will allow him to play in the upcoming game against Temple University. As a New Jersey DWI defense attorney, I’ve seen numerous athletes and other personalities take liberties with their fame, but there is no mistaking that everyone needs professional legal counsel when it comes to drunk driving-related traffic offenses, especially when they involve an injury accident.
According to reports, the 22-year-old Lawrence was initially suspended from the Seton Hall Pirate’s basketball team following an alleged DWI accident on Garden State Parkway near Newark, NJ. Police reports show that the player’s vehicle was heading the wrong way on the parkway when it collided head on with another car driven by 56-year-old Kenneth Smith. Fortunately, neither driver sustained life-threatening injuries, although Lawrence suffered facial injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Police apparently based the drunk driving charge on an investigation of the crash scene, but not on any direct evidence of alcohol in Lawrence’s body. Blood tests from the hospital were not initially available that day. To compound Lawrence’s problems, he was also reportedly driving on a suspended license.
Although coach Bobby Gonzalez stated that he is “disappointed by Keon’s terrible lack of judgment” he is still a part of the Seton Hall family and hopes that time will heal all wounds. So, regardless of his current legal situation, Lawrence will be reinstated in time to play against Temple on December 19. The transfer from Missouri is expected to be a potent backcourt scorer for the Seton Hall team.
“Mr. Lawrence is also subject to an external legal process, which will determine the outcome of the motor vehicle citations he received,” said Law School Dean Patrick E. Hobbs, who is overseeing Seton Hall athletics this year. “Athletics director Joe Quinlan and I have decided to allow Mr. Lawrence to return to the men’s basketball team. Upon the conclusion of the external legal process, the university will decide whether any additional sanction is required.”
Kevin McNamara’s buzzer beaters: Fordham firing is a new low, ProJo.com, December 5, 2009
Suspended Seton Hall guard Keon Lawrence to rejoin team, NewJerseyNewsroom.com, December 3, 2009