Players call it quits

Feb 042007
Authors: Jeff Dillon, Nick Hubel

The two CSU women’s basketball players suspended from the team after setting off an apparent prank bomb have decided to quit the squad.

Freshman guard Kelly Jo Mullaney and freshman center Raysha Ritter told head coach Jen Warden they won’t return to continue their careers at CSU, said Gary Ozzello, athletic department spokesman.

The announcement came two days before CSU’s 60-49 win against Air Force.

Two of the four suspended players – Emily Neal and Brittney Stirling – returned to the team Wednesday.

Officials suspended the four on Jan. 12 for allegedly setting off a homemade chemical bomb outside the apartment of sophomore teammate Kelly Finley.

All four players were arraigned in court on Jan. 16 and now face charges of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.

Each of the players had gone through the university’s judicial process, Ozzello said, and all were welcome to rejoin the team.

Neal and Stirling traveled with the team to Las Vegas in Thursday night’s 57-46 loss to UNLV.

“They made their decision, they didn’t want to be a part of this team,” said Sara Hunter, a junior guard, about the two departed players. “We wish them the best of luck but we can’t waste time thinking about it.”

Mullaney, a freshman from Minneapolis, was the team’s leading scorer before the suspension, averaging 14.5 points per game in 13 games played this season.

Ritter, a freshman from Grand Junction, had played in eight games for the Rams, averaging 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Both players’ future academic plans are unknown, but Ozzello said he believes they will finish this semester at CSU.

As far as basketball goes, the only sure thing is that neither will be wearing a Rams uniform in years to come.

Warden said she was glad the matter was resolved and was excited for the rest of the season.

“I’m looking forward to coaching basketball for a while and (the team) is looking forward to playing basketball for a while,” she said.

Women’s basketball beat writers Jeff Dillon and Nick Hubel can be reached at

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