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Dom Starsia, Players Dismiss Shamel Bratton From the Team; Rhamel Suspended Indefinitely

Shamel and Rhamel Bratton, in an ESPN commercial for "What Matters."
Shamel and Rhamel Bratton, in an ESPN commercial for "What Matters."

Virginia men's lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia confirmed today in a statement that Shamel Bratton has been dismissed from the program. Various sources and outlets are also reporting that twin brother Rhamel Bratton has been suspended indefinitely on account of violations of team rules. This news comes after several days of internet chatter and speculation, and a declination to comment on such rumors on Thursday.

"I want to wish Shamel the very best in his future endeavors," Starsia said in the statement. "He has made many contributions to the program. At the same time, there are standards of behavior within the framework of the team that we expect to be met by all of our student-athletes. Failure to do so on a consistent basis has resulted in the loss of the privilege of being a member of this team."

As we mentioned earlier, the Washington Post reports that it was the players who voted to take this action.

One is a second-team All-American. The other is a two-time first-team All-American. Both have been already been drafted to Major League Lacrosse. Neither will be on the field for the team's Senior Day.

Rhamel is a Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-American who has played and started in 12 games this season. His best production came against No. 20 Ohio State, tying his career-high of four goals. This year, he has 17 goals and five assists for 22 points. He is also tied for 14th on UVa's all-time midfielder goal leaderboard, with 59 goals. Rhamel was drafted in the third round of the MLL Draft as the 17th overall pick to his hometown team, the Long Island Lizards.

Shamel is also a Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-American, for the second straight year. He has played in 11 games this season, starting nine of them. This year, he has 20 goals and eight assists for 28 points. He stands alone atop UVa's all-time leaderboard for career points by midfielders, with 89 goals (third on the program's all-time middies list) and 40 assists (fifth on the program's all-time middies list). Shamel was drafted as the No. 4 overall pick, by the Boston Cannons.

The two have seemingly been in the doghouse all year. Both players were suspended for the Stony Brook game, which the Cavaliers narrowly escaped with an 11-10 overtime victory. While Rhamel seemed to have righted his ship, the same could not be said about Shamel, who was suspended weeks later for another violation of team rules, this time for the Maryland game.

"There is a lot of pain involved here, but I would prefer not to ellaborate on it at this minute," Starsia said to the Daily Progress.

No. 11 Virginia faces No. 13 Penn in a critical matchup for the Hoos, who, at 8-5 currently, could be in danger of missing the post-season tournament. This would be quite a surprise for a program that is now seen as a powerhouse of NCAA lacrosse, and was picked in the preseason by many to win the title this year. Face-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.