McBride suspension handed down

Rich McBride goes in for a lay up against Drew Neitzel of Michigan State in East Lansing on Saturday, March 4. McBride was suspended on Monday after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Adam Nekola Daily Illini File Photo

Rich McBride goes in for a lay up against Drew Neitzel of Michigan State in East Lansing on Saturday, March 4. McBride was suspended on Monday after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Adam Nekola Daily Illini File Photo

By Courtney Linehan

Senior guard Rich McBride will miss the entire basketball preseason and four games of the regular season following a drunk-driving charge, the athletic department announced Monday.

McBride, who started all 33 games of the 2005-06 season, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence on Sept. 29. Basketball head coach Bruce Weber said he waited until the University had completed its disciplinary procedure before determining the team’s sentence for its top returning starter.

McBride will miss this Friday’s Orange & Blue scrimmage and will sit out exhibition games against Lewis University and SIU-Edwardsville. He will also miss the season opener against Austin Peay and home games against Jackson State, Georgia Southern and Florida A&M.;

McBride will, however, continue to practice with the team. He will also attend counseling and complete community service.

McBride was Illinois’ third-leading scorer in 2005-06, behind NBA draft picks James Augustine and Dee Brown. He averaged 10 points per game last season.

McBride missed the first four games of his freshman season in 2003, when he and former teammates Luther Head and Aaron Spears served four game suspensions for “violating team rules.” Those suspensions followed a burglary case in which the three athletes were implicated but never charged.

Head graduated in 2005 and now plays for the Houston Rockets. Spears left the University following the 2003-04 season.