Holt was dismissed “effective immediately for demonstrating exceptionally poor judgment in the circumstances surrounding his recent citation,” according to the press release, a joint statement by the IU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the men’s basketball program.
The 19-year-old sophomore was reportedly observed with a 750 milliliter bottle of vodka by uniformed Indiana State Excise Police officers around 12:50 a.m. Aug. 22, along with freshman teammate Thomas Bryant, who attempted to conceal a 1.75 liter bottle of vodka. The players were passengers in a parked vehicle at Convenient Food Mart at 1401 N. Dunn St.
“Freshman Thomas Bryant, as a result of his citation, is receiving internal team discipline and is subject to additional discipline for any future failure to live up to his responsibilities to the program,” according to the statement.
Holt is the third player to be dismissed from the team this offseason. Former Hoosiers Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea were dismissed from the team in May after Davis was cited for possession of marijuana, an incident in which Mosquera-Perea was present but not cited. It was both players’ second off-the-court incident.
Mosquera-Perea was arrested in February 2014 on OWI charges — the first of the program’s off-the-court incidents or failed drug tests to occur in the past two calendar years that have resulted in seven different players being punished.
Davis suffered a traumatic brain injury Nov. 1, 2014, when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Holt on 17th Street near Memorial Stadium.
Holt’s blood-alcohol level was above 0.02 and he was cited for illegal consumption of alcohol and operating a vehicle while under the influence.
The official crash report stated the primary cause of the accident was “pedestrian action” after Davis unexpectedly entered the roadway.
IU Athleics mentioned the incident in Monday’s press release, stating the accident should have “motivated him to make better decisions.”
The discipline follows IU Athletics’ all-staff meeting Aug. 25 in which IU President Michael McRobbie addressed the school’s athletic coaches about student-athlete conduct.
“What I do not want to see is any more stories of repeated student misbehavior,” McRobbie said in an excerpt provided by IU Athletics. “They embarrass the University, they embarrass all of you in Athletics, and they are a complete distraction from our primary role as an educational institution. This misbehavior simply has to stop.”
In a season in which IU is widely projected to be one of the top 15 teams in the country, the Hoosiers will have to move forward without Holt, whose time in Bloomington was short-lived after reclassifying and committing to IU on Aug. 20, 2014.
After being suspended for four games for his role in the incident that occurred on Halloween night, Holt averaged 3.6 points and 3 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game as a freshman.
He played a key role in IU’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge victory against Pittsburgh by scoring 15 points and pulling down five rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
Bryant, a top-25 prospect in the 2015 recruiting class, is expected to balance IU’s guard- and wing-heavy lineups with his 6-foot-10 frame.