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Published: Tuesday, 3/20/2012

NIU athlete is charged with assault on UT band

A Northern Illinois University football player, suspended for one game by his school for an incident while at the University of Toledo, has been criminally charged for allegedly making contact with UT marching band members during a November game.

Jamaal Bass, of Dekalb, Ill., was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury Friday on one count of felonious assault and one count of misdemeanor assault. The felonious assault charge carries a maximum sentence of up to eight years in prison.

According to a recording of the incident, Mr. Bass allegedly can be seen jumping shoulder-first into the face of a band member and knocking over another as his team ran onto the field just as the band was exiting.

The incident prompted the NIU coach to issue a statement apologizing to the Rocket marching band and the University of Toledo. In that statement, the university said Mr. Bass was to be suspended from the following game.

The case has been assigned to Judge James Jensen, although an arraignment date has not yet been set.

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