ALBANY, NEW YORK — A month ago, the University of Albany announced it’s Men’s Lacrosse Team’s decision to dismiss Tehoka Nanticoke, a Six Nations lacrosse talent, from the team.
Pinning the dismissal on “internal issues,” the Great Danes have been set to focus their sights on competing without their lead offensive powerhouse.
The senior attackman was the Great Danes’ lead scorer through five games with 19 goals and eight assists.
It was later tweeted that Nanticoke’s dismissal was a result of a pattern of confrontations, including reportedly yelling at teammates and coaches during the Great Danes’ 16-10 loss to Stony Brook in March.
Nanticoke led all scorers with four goals and an assist in what would turn out to be his last game with the team.
He was later suspended for Albany’s previous game against nationally ranked UMass (a 13-12 win) due to his role in in a fight during an America East game at Binghamton on March 20.
Nanticoke was the No. 1 high school recruit in the country four years ago. He starred for the Iroquois Nationals’ U19 team in Vancouver in 2016, played for the senior team in the 2018 World Lacrosse Men’s World Championship and the indoor team in the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship. As a freshman with Albany, he earned All-American honours with 50 goals and 32 assists in 2018.
He drew national attention as a sophomore in 2019 when he was suspended and then reinstated over an Instagram post in which he tagged a stick-stringing company — calling into question whether the post was in violation of the NCAA’s amateurism rules.
This issue grew in size as well, as knowledge of Nanticoke being one of the most followed college lacrosse players in the USA on Instagram, boasting almost 37,000 followers in 2019. He also had 4,388 followers on Twitter two years ago.
But Nanticoke’s statement, found on Twitter, reflected his feelings toward the team after the fact:
“You may or may not have heard by now, but I am no longer a part of the Albany Men’s Lacrosse Team. This was a difficult group decision for me to no longer be a part of the program, but it is what is best for me personally and for the future of this team.
With that being said, I will still be attending classes online with the university. Coach Marr is still riding and sticking with his commitment in keeping me on track to graduate. It will, and always will be, a goal of mine to graduate college ever since leaving home back in 2014. I have nothing but love for this program. I would not be who I am today without Scott Marr, Merrick Thomson, Liam Gleason, and John Maloney, Derrick Eccles, Tal Brund, and Connor Russell are all coaches who pushed me to be the best me day in and day out.
Most importantly, my teammates this year as well as past teammates that I have had while being a part of this program are my brothers. I’ll ride and die with these guys for life. I love these men and I can’t wait for what this program has ahead of them.”
On March 22, it was announced that Nanticoke had been awarded the America East Offensive Player of the Week. He was named alongside Defensive Player Ryan Cornell from Vermont and Rookie Ethan Robinson from UMBC, amidst the “internal issues.”