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Eastern Illinois is choosing to handle things internally after one of its men’s basketball players swung at an opposing fan during its game at Lindenwood on Thursday night. The school did not say what that will entail.
Late in the first half of the Panthers’ 13-point loss to the Lions, their leading scorer turned his focus away from the game. Kinyon Hodges was posted up in the corner by the baseline before quickly shuffling over to the sideline and confronting a Lindenwood fan who was sitting courtside.
Before the fan knew what hit him, literally, Hodges reared back and threw his hand forward. He was trying to slap the fan in the face. It is not clear based on the video whether he was able to make contact.
Hodges was issued a technical foul, but was allowed to stay in the game. Details of what led up to the slap attempt are also unclear.
The incident occurred on Thursday night. Video did not start making its rounds on social media until midday on Friday. The clip was everywhere by Friday evening.
Eastern Illinois finally issued a statement.
We are aware of the incident that occurred during the first half of our men’s basketball game at Lindenwood [Thursday]. As an athletic department, Eastern Illinois prides itself on good sportsmanship. We do not condone this type of behavior by our men’s basketball team or any of our 500 student-athletes.
The issue has been addressed with both the player involved for EIU as well as the Ohio Valley Conference with any disciplinary action to be handled internally. The player in question understands that this is not the type of behavior displayed by our student-athletes or our men’s basketball program and in the heat of the moment let emotions get the best of him. This will be a learning moment moving forward and we apologize to anyone that may have been adversely impacted by the incident.— Eastern Illinois athletic director Tom Michael
Head coach Marty Simmons also issued a statement along with Michael and the school. He said that Hodges is remorseful.
I spoke with the young man this morning and he is extremely sorry for his actions at [Thursday’s] basketball game. This is not in the character of this young man. Even though he did not make physical contact with the fan, he understands the seriousness of this and regrets that his actions have negatively impacted the view of not only himself but the Eastern Illinois program.— Eastern Illinois head men’s basketball coach Marty Simmons
Whether Hodges will be suspended or not is unknown. The Panthers, 7-17 on the year, return to the court against Tennessee State on Saturday.
4 CommentsLeave a Reply
I’m not sure player violence is part of the disclaimer on the back of the ticket stub… oh ya, there are no tickets anymore, you need someone’s bullsh#t app to get into the game.
Been a white guy trying to slap a black their would live CNN COVERAGE
Zooish behavior. This is what happens when you get to close to the primates.