Saluki basketball players receive supervision for July fight

By Gus Bode

Curfew set for Hairston, Dale

MURPHYSBORO – Six months after the incident that brought felony and misdemeanor charges against two SIU men’s basketball players, Judge Kimberly Dahlen decided their fate earlier this month at a Jan. 7 sentencing hearing.

The two felony charges, criminal trespass and mob action, against Stetson Hairston and Mike Dale were dropped Dec. 6 in a partial plea bargain in exchange for their guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of battery for their involvement in the July 17 incident at a Lewis Park apartment involving two other SIUC students.


While the prosecution was asking for 24 months of probation, which would have blemished both men’s permament records, Dahlen sentenced Hairston and Dale to one year of court supervision.

In addition, both men must abide by a 1 a.m. curfew until the supervision is up, serve 100 hours of community service, pay court costs and attend an anti-violence class.

Hairston must also pay the victim, John Cooper, restitution of nearly $400 for medical bills in addition to court costs. In total, Hairston owes $924.25 and Dale must pay the court $532.00.

Cooper, who said he has transferred schools since the incident, testified in court that as a result of the fight, he sustained numerous headaches and had to seek medical attention. Daniel Sledd, the second victim of the incident, did not testify or appear in court for the sentencing.

Although the prosecution said they didn’t believe the two basketball players felt remorse for their actions, both Hairston and Dale apologized for their behavior in their closing statements.

“If I was put in that situation again, I’d walk away,” Hairston said. “I ask the court to please give me another chance.”

Defense attorney John Clemons spoke on behalf of Hairston and Dale, saying they were pleased with the sentencing and have already made arrangements to complete their community service with the Boys & Girls Club of Carbondale.


However, Cooper said he was disappointed with the outcome of the case, wishing Hairston and Dale had received probation.

Not only did Dahlen explain the sentencing to Hairston and Dale, but she also provided some advice to the two basketball players.

“Whether you want the attention or not, you’ll receive it,” Dahlen said. “You need to be leaders on the basketball court and off. And on July 17, 2004, you were not leaders, and you were certainly not gentlemen. But I think that you and the public would be best served without a conviction.”

Head coach Chris Lowery suspended Hairston and Dale for three games earlier in the season for their involvement in the incident. Hairston is averaging 10.3 points per game and 2.6 assists. Dale is averaging 4.8 points in 13 minutes per game.

Reporter Bethany Krajelis can be reached at [email protected]