Senior guard Briante Weber’s punishment for theft charges brought against him this offseason will be a one-game suspension, community service and restitution.
Authorities say Weber is expected to serve 50 hours of community service by Sept. 25, the next time he is due in court. Additionally, Weber is subject to pay restitution for dismissal of theft charges by the Richmond Manchester General District Court. Approved by Judge David E. Creek the plea was granted due to Weber having no past criminal record. Although the incident is Weber’s first offense, VCU has showed no signs of reversing Weber’s suspension.
Weber was suspended from the VCU men’s basketball team for what school officials called a violation of team rules and the university’s Code of Student Conduct. On July 24, 2014, Weber allegedly stole an iPhone valued at $200 dollars from the Cary Street Gym per public records. Weber appeared in court on Aug. 15 for arraignment on a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny but the case was continued until Sept. 25. Weber would have received a felony charge of grand larceny had the phone been valued higher.
Weber’s suspension was announced on Aug. 15, and head coach Shaka Smart released a statement about his star defensive players’ actions.
“Briante has failed to live up to the standards we’ve set for our program and we are holding him accountable,” Smart said. “Part of his discipline includes missed competition. We expect that Briante will act according to the standards of our program moving forward.”
Weber will miss a closed team scrimmage, and an exhibition game against California University of Pennsylvania at the Siegel Center. on Nov. 7. More importantly, he will sit out the nationally televised season opener against University of Tennessee in the inaugural Veteran’s Classic at the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on Friday, Nov. 14.
Last season, Weber led the NCAA in steals, averaging 3.5 steals per game and also led the Atlantic 10 in steals last year (52). The Chesapeake, Virginia native also surpassed VCU great Rolando Lamb’s all-time steals record (257) which stood for 29 years.
With 296 steals entering his senior season, Weber is on track to become the Division I all-time steals leader. He is 90 steals away from supplanting John Linehan, formerly of Providence College, who leads the category with 385.
The two-time A-10 Defensive Player of the Year helped the Rams lead the nation in steals for a third consecutive year averaging 11.2 steals per game in Smart’s HAVOC press defense.
Recently, senior forward/guard Treveon Graham credited Weber for being one of three seniors who are veteran leaders on the team; the other being senior forward Jarred Guest.
“I think it’s hard for one person to lead [the team] but I think if [the three of us] work together to lead the team, I think we can do pretty well,” Graham said on July 28.
As a junior, Weber averaged a team high 28.9 mpg and averaged 9.4 points per game.