Sean Tyson's troubled stay at Clemson University took another bad turn yesterday, as the Dunbar High graduate was charged with assault and then thrown off the basketball team.
Tyson turned himself into university police after he was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and with possessing a weapon (a .32-caliber pistol) on school property. Tyson, 23, was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond, and faces a March 18 arraignment in Pickens County (S.C.) Court.
According to police, Tyson grabbed Angela Celeste McAbee, a Clemson student, and repeatedly threw her against a wall, then kicked her several times after she fell. The woman suffered bruises, police said. The "high and aggravated nature" part of the charge came because Tyson, 6 feet 7, 215 pounds, is so much bigger than McAbee.
Police would not say what the motive was for the incident.
After learning of the alleged attack, Clemson basketball coach Cliff Ellis kicked Tyson off the team.
"We have clear team policies and a student-athlete discipline policy that all players are aware of from Day 1, and Sean has violated those polices," Ellis said in a statement. "I regret that this has happened."
Tyson could not be reached for comment last night.
Tyson, a senior forward, had been suspended for three games earlier this season after a fight with roommate and teammate Donnell Bruce.
Tyson sat out his first season at Clemson because he failed to meet Proposition 48 academic guidelines, then was suspended for seven games in 1987-88 after he was caught selling complimentary basketball tickets, a violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. He was redshirted the next season with medical problems.
Last week, Tyson had said: "My whole career here has been star-crossed. But I think Clemson was a good choice for me. We've had a lot of success, and it's thrust everyone in the spotlight at one time or another."
Tyson said he was on schedule to receive a degree in tourism and travel this spring, calling graduation "my personal highlight."