Cory Newsom's trip to United Supermarkets Arena last Saturday turned out to be quite costly, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
Newsom, president and CEO of Lubbock, Texas-based City Bank, announced yesterday that the bank would cover the $25,000 in fines levied against Texas Tech after fans stormed the court to celebrate the Red Raiders' 72-71 win over second-ranked West Virginia. The Big 12 Conference deemed the university's post-game safety protocols insufficient during the post-game chaos, which led to a WVU player striking a Tech fan.
“It was an unfortunate incident that happened, but I think it was for all of the right reasons,” Newsom said, as reported by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “The fan support was there. Watching the fan support was so exciting. We love our university; we love our team. We just felt like this was our chance to stand up and support them."
Newsom described the game-day experience as electric. “While we support Texas Tech in its efforts to make certain game-day operations provide a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone involved, we also understand the outright excitement and spontaneity that a breathtaking victory over a highly ranked team can have on a university’s students," he said. "We see it at universities across the country on a weekly basis. Supporting your team is a big part of the college experience.”
Newsom added that he agrees with the way in which Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt handled the matter, which he feels is the exception and not the rule at Tech events, stating, “We know he has reviewed Saturday’s situation and has made the necessary adjustments to assure that the safety of players, officials and fans will not be compromised."
Hocutt thanked Newsom for his support. “We’re very appreciative of City Bank stepping forward in this generous and supportive way for Texas Tech athletics,” Hocutt said. “It’s sincerely appreciated. I think they’re stepping forward in this particular situation because of the excitement and support Texas Tech basketball has created this season.”