After Coastal Carolina’s loss Sunday night in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis made his first public comments on the arrest and suspension of junior point guard Shivaughn Wiggins.
Wiggins, the team’s on-court leader and a two-year starter, was arrested and booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Saturday at 11:18 a.m., and charged with third degree assault and battery involving an ex-girlfriend, according to comments made by Judge Margie Livingston during the hearing later that day.
The Sun News has obtained the police report on the incident. According to the report, the victim told officers at the Coastal Carolina Police Department that on March 25 at 2 a.m. she was assaulted by Wiggins.
The victim told police she was at a club in the 3500 block of Hwy 544 Overpass in Conway, when Wiggins slapped her in the face multiple times and pushed her to the ground.
The victim says she left the club, but Wiggins followed her into the parking lot. She says she attempted to push him away, but he slapped her again, cutting her lip and pushed her to the ground.
Wiggins was subsequently suspended indefinitely from the team and it’s unclear if he will have the opportunity to return for his senior season.
“I really can’t make comments with regards to this,” Ellis said Sunday night. “I can just tell you over 40-some years [of coaching] my biggest issues has been boyfriend-girlfriend stuff, and how that plays out I don’t know. It’s a process. Shivaughn will have his chance. What I will tell you is this, I love Shivaughn, I love my players. I have 25 people under my umbrella, whether it be players, coaches, managers, whomever. About 25 people. And I’m going to love every one of them. I’m going to love Shivaughn, I’m going to teach Shivaughn and in this case we’re going to discipline him.
“That’s part of the teaching process. I wish it was a perfect scenario every day with 25 guys. When they do [make mistakes] you’ve got to meet it and learn from it, and that’s my hope. But it’s out of my hands at this point in time. But I do care about him deeply.”
Playing without Wiggins the Chants lost 66-47 to UC Irvine on Sunday night in the CIT semifinals to end their season.
Wiggins ranked second on the team in scoring this season at 12.6 points per game and in assists at 3.6 points per game while earning honorable mention All-Big South recognition.
Beyond the numbers, he was the Chants’ unquestioned leader on the court. Wiggins was the one who organized his teammates at his place after a rough start to the season to refocus the team for what would be a terrific second half of the campaign, and he was often the one delivering the clutch shots in the big moments for Coastal Carolina as well.
It’s unknown, though, if he’ll play another game with the Chants at this point.
Asked if he expected Wiggins back next season, Ellis made it sound very much up in the air.
“I don’t have the answer to that right now,” he said.