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Three teams pull out of Las Vegas tourney after controversy

Lasha Petree (11) and Purdue are one of three teams to pull out of a Las Vegas Holiday Tournament. (Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dayton, Purdue and Texas A&M women’s basketball teams have pulled out of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena after the controversy surrounding a similar tournament in November.

The Holiday Hoops Classic is being run by officials from Destination Basketball, which is the same group that put on the Las Vegas Invitational last month. That tournament, which was held in a ballroom at the Mirage, received criticism for a slew of issues that emerged.

The biggest concern was the lack of medical personnel on site. Auburn’s Kharyssa Richardson was injured after a fall that caused her to hit her head, but no one was there to attend to her. The freshman laid on the floor for 50 minutes as EMTs made their way to the ballroom where the tournament was being played.

There were no bleachers, and the makeshift court was instead surrounded by folding chairs for spectators. Indiana coach Teri Moren, whose team played in the tournament, said the event set women’s basketball back “a couple of steps.”

The Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic will go ahead without Dayton, Purdue and Texas A&M. Campbell, Cleveland State, Jacksonville State, Lindenwood and Utah Tech all will participate in the tournament, which will run from Dec. 19-21.

“To be honest, our other five are happy they aren’t there anymore because they like it as a non-Power 5 event,”  tournament operations manager Bret Seymour told ESPN. “We took those three to help. It’s OK. It’s really actually better for us because they’re not there this year for that particular event.”

In place of the tournament, Texas A&M will host Purdue, while Dayton has yet to announce a replacement game.