Dominique Reid’s Niagara University basketball career is over.
Niagara announced Friday that it has cut ties with the star forward, who is facing three felony charges related to financial dealings.
Said Niagara Athletics Director Simon Gray in a statement: “Dominique Reid will not be attending Niagara University during the 2015-16 academic year. Consistent with our commitment to student privacy obligations, the university will have no further comment on the matter.”
Reid was arrested in mid-April by Niagara County Sheriff’s Department investigators on charges of second-degree identity theft and fourth-degree grand larceny, both felonies. He made fraudulent use of banking information to pay personal bills, police said.
Reid previously was arrested in mid-December by the Sheriff’s Department on a felony charge of fourth-degree grand larceny. That was a result of a fraud complaint made by First Niagara Bank. According to police, Reid had filed fraud complaints on his account and had been reimbursed by the bank for more than $1,000. The bank determined that Reid’s complaints proved to be false, upon further investigation.
Reid, a 6-foot-8 forward from New Jersey, played the entire season for Niagara and made the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference all-rookie team. He was the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging 9.8 points.
While it’s no surprise Niagara will be without Reid, he represents a huge loss on the court. The Purple Eagles, 8-22 last season, were hoping Reid would be a cornerstone player for the next three seasons. Niagara lost seven players to transfer, including its second- and fourth-leading scorers. Coach Chris Casey has added eight recruits.
Without Reid, Niagara will be very young on the front line. Niagara signed a 6-7 junior college recruit, Maurice Taylor Jr., along with two freshmen, 6-8 Dominic Robb from Pittsburgh and 6-7 Marvin Prochet from Brooklyn. Also joining the team is 6-9 Alioune Tew, who is coming off a knee injury.
Reid had trouble with the law before coming to Niagara, as well. He was arrested in Mantua Township, N.J., in August 2013 on a charge of robbery and aggravated assault in the theft of an individual’s backpack outside a shopping center.
Niagara announced in May that Reid was being prevented from participating in team activities.
Niagara University’s president, the Rev. James J. Maher, is one of 53 college leaders who will participate in an NCAA Division I Strategic Summit to be held Aug. 4-5 in Indianapolis. The purpose of the summit is a big-picture review of various aspects of Division I athletics.
“The student-athlete experience will be one of the areas I’ll focus on,” Maher said on Wednesday at the news conference for Niagara’s new women’s basketball coach, Jada Pierce. “What’s been spoken about is how do we integrate the student experience into the student-athlete experience? For example, many times student-athletes don’t have opportunities to participate in regular student activities. They may not have opportunities to do internships. They may not have opportunities to study abroad. They may not have opportunities to focus on things that are part of the staple of being a student.”
Maher just began a four-year term as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s representative on the NCAA Presidential Advisory Group. The summit event will include selected presidents, athletic directors, faculty and student-athletes. Maher is one of 31 presidents participating.
“I think what I’ve been encouraged about is the NCAA is very serious about looking at helping the student-athletes,” Maher said.
“The second area I’ll be focused on is the life balance related to the student-athlete experience,” Maher said. “How can you take out some of the excess around the lives of student athletes and help create that balance between being a student-athlete and being a student? I’m excited about it going forward. We’ll have to see how it all goes, but it’s a great opportunity.”