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Mountain West: Court Storming Didn't Cause Incident

Paul Steinbach

The Mountain West Conference has concluded that altercations on and off the court Saturday following Utah State's victory over then-No. 12 Nevada in men's basketball resulted from the actions of individuals representing both programs and not the fans who rushed the floor at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan.

Viral postgame video showed Nevada senior Jordan Caroline taking out his frustrations in an arena hallway following his team's 81-76 defeat, which knocked the Wolf Pack out of first place in the MWC. Caroline punched a wall-mounted fire extinguisher box and had to be restrained from heading toward the Utah State locker room as he shouted expletives down the hall. Words were exchanged between Nevada basketball staff and police, as well.

Caroline reportedly injured his hand after breaking the fire-extinguisher glass and is questionable for tonight's game against Air Force.

It was originally alleged that Utah State fans storming the court in celebration had touched Nevada players as they attempted to leave the playing area for their locker room, which contributed to the ill will of the visitors.

From AB: Court Storming Sparks Hallway Melee at Utah State 

Not so, says the MWC office in Colorado Springs. A statement released Monday read: 

After a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Saturday night’s incident, which included a review of numerous video clips from various sources and the collection of written statements from multiple individuals, the Mountain West has concluded the situation was not caused by the court rush. There was a postgame management plan in place and it was executed successfully.

Rather, inappropriate conduct by individuals from both programs in the postgame handshake line and subsequently in the locker room areas created the unfortunate circumstances. The Conference office has had multiple communications with both athletics directors and has shared the findings of its review. Each institution will be responsible for the determination and administration of what it deems appropriate disciplinary action for those involved. It must be made clear unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

According to The Salt Lake Tribunethe MWC will not sanction or fine either school, rather leaving it up each individual university to determine penalties for those involved.

Utah State vice president and director of athletics John Hartwell issued a statement Monday that read: "After reviewing all the evidence, from surveillance video to eyewitness accounts, the incident was not a game management issue and was not caused by our students rushing the court. The unsportsmanlike behavior following the game did not include any of our student-athletes, but rather a couple of staff members, which is unacceptable, and we will handle those issues internally. Moving forward, Utah State Athletics will review our game management procedures in an effort to continually learn and improve."

The University of Nevada’s athletic department released a statement Monday night. It read: "We accept the review of the Mountain West and we will handle this matter internally. All parties involved can learn from this incident, and we will. The Mountain West believes in the highest ideals of sportsmanship and good behavior, and we will address this with members of our program who fell short of these ideals on Saturday night. We will pay restitution to Utah State University for any property damages incurred during the incident."

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