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UMass’s Mack Arrested for Theft

October 6, 2000

HADLEY, Mass. (AP) _ Massachusetts basketball star Monty Mack was arrested on shoplifting charges, accused of hiding seven DVD movies worth $159.93 in his sweat pants.

The team suspended him on Friday for the first three games this season.

He was arrested Thursday morning after leaving a Kmart store near the Amherst campus, Hadley police chief Dennis Huckowicz. The player was stopped by store security and police were called.

Mack pleaded innocent at his arraignment Thursday in Northampton and was released on his own recognizance.

``I’m very sorry that I have embarrassed myself, family, teammates and the university,″ Mack said in a statement released by the school. ``I know that I made a bad decision, and I regret my actions and know that I will have to pay a penalty (for them).″

Mack, a 23-year-old point guard from Boston, has started for three years. He led the team in scoring last season, averaging 19.8 points a game.

The fifth-year student sat out his freshman year after failing to meet NCAA academic eligibility requirements. He gained a fourth year of eligibility when he completed his degree in four years.

Coach Bruiser Flint said Mack has been suspended for two exhibition games and a regular-season game.

``Monty has worked very hard to regain an extra year of eligibility, but he made a very poor decision,″ Flint said. ``I’m deeply disappointed in his action because it doesn’t reflect the values of our program or what Monty Mack is all about.″

In 1998, Mack was charged with assault and battery after a scuffle involving about a dozen people in a dining hall. However, a judge dismissed the charge, saying there was no reason to single out Mack.

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