The drama didn’t end after the final buzzer sounded in Lubbock on Saturday, where Texas Tech ended WVU’s 15-game winning streak with a come-from- behind 72-71 victory.
After the game, it was caught on video of what looked like WVU’s Wesley Harris punching a fan. The Big 12 conference took the weekend to review the incident and have said the following,
“The Big 12 Conference announces a public reprimand of West Virginia University student-athlete Wesley Harris for striking a court-storming fan following the conclusion of Saturday’s WVU at Texas Tech men’s basketball game. His action is in violation of the Big 12 Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct rules.”
“We must ensure that a safe environment is provided for players, coaches, game officials and fans,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Although the post-game environment did not live up to our expectations, Mr. Harris intentionally striking a fan is contrary to the Conference’s Sportsmanship standards.”
WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons said in a statement,
“I want to thank the Big 12 Conference and Texas Tech for the positive and open dialogue all three parties engaged in during the last two days. As I said before, this situation involved court security, player safety and postgame emotions and all three had to be taken into account. We will revisit with our student-athletes to again reinforce our expectations regarding sportsmanship issues across all sports. The Big 12 has issued its reprimand. We accept it, and I consider the matter closed.”
A “Public Reprimand” is a better way to say that Harris is being warned for his behavior and will be further punished if it happens again. Harris can breathe a sigh of relief knowing he will be available for tonight’s big matchup against Kansas.
Texas Tech wasn’t let off the hook either as they were fined $25,000. The Big 12 also put out a statement saying,
“In accordance with the Big 12 Conference Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship, the Conference has issued a public reprimand and $25,000 fine of Texas Tech University for its handling of postgame protocol at the conclusion of the men’s basketball contest against West Virginia University on Saturday, January 13.
“We have a duty to provide a safe game environment,” said Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “The Texas Tech Department of Athletics has a written event management policy which was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of the visiting team game participants. Although the Big 12 Conference does not currently have a policy prohibiting spectators from entering playing areas for post-game celebrations, it is of utmost importance that home game management provide adequate security measures for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators.”
When it comes to the newest College Basketball Rankings. WVU fell from No. 2 to No. 6 while Texas Tech stayed at No. 8 after splitting their last two games against Oklahoma and WVU.