Gophers starter James charged with assault

Courtney James, a starting forward on the Gophers Final Four basketball team, was arrested early Saturday morning for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.
Minneapolis police arrested James, 20, at the woman’s south Minneapolis duplex around 4 a.m. Saturday after a neighbor reported hearing screaming and crying. He is accused of hitting the woman in the face with a phone book, throwing her to the floor and covering her mouth and nose with his hand.
According to police reports, James was booked in Hennepin County Jail for 5th-degree assault, the lowest grade of assault charges. He later posted $1,200 bail. He has a first appearance Monday morning at the Hennepin County courthouse.
The men’s athletics department suspended James from all team activities indefinitely, which is standard departmental procedure when an athlete is arrested. Men’s athletics director Mark Dienhart said Sunday he was unaware of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“We’ll look into it, and the part of what I have to do in the next several days is to get to everybody that was involved,” he said. “I’m very concerned. I’m going to save any further reaction to it until I know what took place.”
Dienhart has not spoken with Gophers coach Clem Haskins, who is out of town until Wednesday, or anybody in the Minneapolis police department. Haskins could not be reached for comment.
Haskins suspended James last December for one game after he violated team rules. James was expelled twice from Pike High School in Indianapolis.
— Andrew Tellijohn and Todd Zolecki