WSU vs MVSU | Photo by Daniel Delgado | The Wright State Guardian
Warning: story includes obscenities
Updated December 26:
Wright State Athletics, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications, Nick Phillips, released a statement regarding the incident that took place at the Dec 17 game.
“The incident that took place during last Tuesday’s game was both surprising and unfortunate, as we have never had an incident of this nature occur in nearly 30 years of Wright State athletics at the Nutter Center. We are thankful that the incident did not escalate and our students did not respond when provoked. Once we became aware of the incident, both Wright State police and athletic department staff were stationed in the area for the remainder of the game. We are currently reviewing all security protocols to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.”
Mississippi Valley State University has yet to respond for comment.
Editor’s note: A player was previously named in the original copy of this story which was removed due to a possible identification error. Our team is working to find out more and will update accordingly.
On Tuesday, Dec 17, the Men’s Basketball team defeated Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) 92-50. This put the Raiders at 9-3 and the Delta Devils at 0-10.
Guard, Tanner Holden (2) was named Player of the Game with 19 points and eight rebounds; he also had four assists and two steals. Forward, James Manns (23) also scored 19 points and eight rebounds. Forward, Grant Basile (21) led the team in rebounds and blocks, with 14 and three, respectively.
MVSU’s Guard, Michael Green (1) was charged with two technical fouls and ejected, and one technical foul was charged to Head Coach Lindsey Hunter.
The intensity of the game found itself leaving the court and into the stands. During the first half, a heated and ultimately threatening confrontation took place in the student section.
A few minutes into the game, a member of MVSU traveling with the team, who was not dressed for the game, left the bench and court to confront the student section.
“Hey b—- if you don’t shut the f— up I’ll beat the f— out of all y’all. I’ll kill you,” said the player, repeatedly, according to witnesses.
The player then held up his hand in the shape of a gun to Wright State student Erik Austin’s head, according to witnesses.
According to students in the section, it is unclear what caused the player to leave the bench. Prior to him approaching the student section, a group of students were chanting the name of the coach’s wife.
“I am proud of our student section and how everyone remained calm. Having a player come off the bench and shove me with a gun hand gesture in the head, I am proud no one retaliated, myself included,” said Austin, president of the Rowdy Raiders, a student organization dedicated to cheering and organizing students at sporting events.
Where was security?
“This player used inappropriate gestures relating to a gun and verbally made threatening comments to our student section. We had a few girls move up to the top to watch the remainder of the game because they were scared of what this player did,” said Lucio Lombardo, vice president of the Rowdy Raiders.
The player then returned to the bench, past a nearby Ohio Entertainment Security guard, who called over two Wright State University Police Department (WSUPD) officers.
“During this incident, that player walked past the cop who was supposed to be occupying their side of the bench. This player expresses his rage on us, and walked back to the bench like nothing has happened. I think something should be done about this incident with the athletic departments and the NCAA,” said Lombardo.
For the remainder of the game, the player sat on the bench with his team while a WSUPD officer stood beside the student section.
It has been less than six months since Wright State student, Megan Betts, was gunned down in the Oregon District shooting which left nine people dead and 27 wounded. Threats around gun violence have recently been taken with a much more strict approach.
In September, a professor at Wright State was escorted off campus after talking about obtaining a gun in a text. According to WSUPD , she “said something to the effect of obtaining a gun with no direct threats stated followed by laughing emojis from someone else and then two lengthy messages.” She was placed on paid leave.
“What we’re going to do from this point on is find the chant that made people mad, and cut it out,” said Mathis Amadon, member of the Rowdy Raiders.
On Saturday, Dec. 21, the Washington Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas was suspended for two games after entering the stands and verbally confronting fans, according to ESPN.
According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) publication “2019-20 NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules and Interpretations,” a player or substitute has committed an unsportsmanlike act, specifically a Class A Unsporting Technical Infraction, for “leaving the playing court and going into the stands when a fight may break out or has broken out (flagrant noncontact infraction.)”
Bench personnel has committed an unsportsmanlike act for “using profanity or language that is abusive, vulgar or obscene,” according to the publication.
Coach Hunter is a former NBA player for the Detroit Pistons. He played during the night of the most infamous basketball brawl in history, the 2004 Malice at the Palace. A fight broke out involving fans and players of the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons.
MVSU’s Athletic Director was contacted twice; no one was available for comment.
Wright State athletics were contacted for comment and have yet to respond.
The Wright State Guardian also reached out three times to the NCAA.
We will update this story when a response has been given.