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An unidentified UCSB basketball fan is shoved away by a Hawaii player and assistant coach after he rushed the court to confront the team's head coach

Peter Vandenbelt

An unidentified UCSB basketball fan is shoved away by a Hawaii player and assistant coach after he rushed the court to confront the team's head coach


UCSB Basketball Fan Arrested After Rushing Court

Student Confronted Hawaii’s Head Coach Before Fleeing Back into Stands


Originally published 10:30 a.m., March 7, 2014
Updated 12:20 p.m., March 7, 2014
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A brazen UCSB basketball fan was arrested Thursday when he rushed the court during a UC Santa Barbara-Hawaii game and started yelling in the face of the opposing team’s head coach. After being shoved away by two Hawaii players and an assistant coach, the fan — who hasn’t been identified — ran back into the stands before officials quickly ushered him out of The Thunderdome where he was handcuffed by campus police.

The incident came when play was halted late in the first half after Hawaii guard Brandon Spearman was called for an intentional foul and Hawaii coach Gib Arnold started arguing with referees. As Arnold and an assistant coach came onto the court to protest the call, the fan made his move.

A rowdy UCSB student gets in the face of the Hawaii basketball team's head coach
Click to enlarge photo

Peter Vandenbelt

A rowdy UCSB student gets in the face of the Hawaii basketball team’s head coach

In an interview after the game — which the Gauchos won 86-77 — Arnold told ESPN, “It doesn’t concern me. It’s rare. I hope security would be better. The guy was wasted and in a different world. It is what it is. You can’t control crazies. That’s why they’re crazy.”

UCSB coach Bob Williams told the same ESPN reporter, “I was shocked. Then I was mad. I immediately went to the officials and apologized to them. Gib was rather angry. He had to refocus on the game. I was appreciative that our guys tracked him down. Everybody was shocked. Nobody reacted. Kudos goes out to the Hawaii players that stepped out. I thought they handled it really well.”

Calls to UCSB’s public affairs office and its campus police station were not immediately returned. Check back for updates.

A UCSB basketball fan continues to taunt the Hawaii team as he's escorted out of The Thunderdome
Click to enlarge photo

Peter Vandenbelt

A UCSB basketball fan continues to taunt the Hawaii team as he’s escorted out of The Thunderdome

[UPDATE, 12:20 p.m.]: Bill Mahoney, a spokesman for UCSB’s athletics department, issued this statement Friday afternoon: “On behalf of the UCSB student-athletes and staff we are disappointed and saddened by the singular act of a student during the first half of last night’s men’s basketball game versus Hawai’i.  We have apologized to Hawai’i athletics director Ben Jay and Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. Head Coach Bob Williams also apologized to Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold on behalf of the department.

“The safety of all student-athletes, coaches and fans is paramount to us and we are reviewing the night and solidifying event protocol in hopes of preventing any one person from repeating this incident.

“This one person’s selfish act does not represent the passionate atmosphere our students display. We also note there were no incidents before, during or after the game by the students or anyone else. We have great respect for Hawai’i, its fans and student-athletes. In particular, we appreciate that the UH players and coaching staff handled the situation with class when engaging the student.”

George Foulsham with UCSB’s Public Affairs Office confirmed that the unruly fan is a university student, but declined to identity him. “In general, the university has a judicial affairs process which reviews student conduct and determines disciplinary action,” Foulsham said in a prepared statement. “Due to federal and state privacy policies, we can’t discuss any specific case.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Maybe Chancellor Yang should order up ( 5 ) more police officers and more video surveillance on campus, maybe throw in a helicopter ? and why not fear sells :)

yendopostal (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2014 at 11:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Apparently that guy has spent too much time at UCSB. That place will make anyone crazy, given enough time. Just look at the profs who teach there.

Schifter (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2014 at 11:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The staff is going bonkers too.

newsbiz (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2014 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let me offer you some TP as I extract the 'c' and 'f' from your name Schifter. Carry some with you next time you take a dump.

spacey (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2014 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe the fan was high and imagined he was a player at a professional hockey or baseball game?

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 8, 2014 at 12:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

the referee looks like he really wants to blow that whistle at the guy.

sbresident2 (anonymous profile)
March 8, 2014 at 6:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What was the violation for which the "fan" was arrested? What Penal Code(s) were violated? Did the fan (touch) a player/coach before he himself was grabbed or pushed away by a player/coach? Which person made the first physical contact with another?

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
March 10, 2014 at 8:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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