Wednesday , Mar , 03 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

St. John’s Player claims to have accepted monthly payments

Mineola, NY (Sports Network) – Abraham Keita, a suspended St. John’s
basketball player, admitted Wednesday that he got $300 almost every month from
a team staff member.

The senior was suspended last month after he and several of his teammates
were caught breaking curfew and visiting a Pittsburgh strip club after a loss
to the Panthers. The players met a 38-year-old woman, who told police she
was raped by the group of players. However, the alleged victim, Sherri Ann
Urbanek-Bach, later said she made up the story after the players refused to
pay her for sex.

Keita, a center from West Africa, was aware the payments he was receiving were
in violation of NCAA rules. His lawyers contended that because he came from an
impoverished background, he was “vulnerable and susceptible to accepting NCAA-
prohibited cash from the university.”

In a news conference that Keita attended, his attorneys stated that he would
be filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the university.

St. John’s is suffering from one of its worst seasons ever, the team is 6-19
and interim coach Kevin Clark is not expected to return after this season.