By Matt McCoy
ESPN video of a UCSB fan running on the court to berate Hawaii's coach
It was a bizarre scene Thursday night during the UC Santa Barbara vs Hawaii basketball game.
Hawaii coach Gib Arnold had just been given a technical foul for arguing an intentional foul call, when a UCSB fan left his seat in the student section, ran down the aisle, onto the floor and into Arnold's face. After only a couple seconds, a Hawaii player pushed the fan away. As he was leaving the court, the fan gestured to and taunted the Hawaii players. He then ran back up the aisle and into his seat. He was escorted out of the arena minutes later.
The security at UCSB is getting justifiably ripped across the country. It's one thing for a fan to run onto the court. I can see that happening, but for security to allow him to get to the Hawaii coach, taunt Hawaii players as he slowly left the floor, then run back up to his seat without anyone laying a hand on him is inexcusable.
Fortunately, it appears this was just some adolescent blockhead getting out of control. I'm sure he'll be dealt with by harshly by UCSB. What's troubling however is what could have happened if the perpetrator had something more nefarious in mind.
Arnold, who is interviewed by ESPN in the video above, had the line of the night when asked if incidents like this concern him.
"You would hope the security would be a little bit better to where a guy can't get down on the floor," Arnold said. "But (it was) unexpected. The guy was wasted and in a different world so it is what it is. You really can't control crazies...that's why they're crazy."
Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith play their final home game Sunday vs Michigan State
It will be emotional Sunday afternoon in the Schottenstein Center. Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Aaron Craft will be introduced before the Ohio State/Michigan State game during Senior Day ceremonies.
610 WTVN basketball analyst Tony White went through it during his playing days and joined Joel Riley Friday morning.
"It's amazing," Tony said of Senior Day. "Ohio State fans are the greatest in the world. Whether you've had a great career, a good career, an average career or a below average career, Buckeye fans appreciate players who have given their time and their effort and their youth to this program. There's nothing better than to hear the crowd be appreciative of the fact that you spent your career as an Ohio State Buckeye."
The Buckeyes have a difficult game Sunday. Because of the challenge of beating the Spartans, Tony said the Senior Day moment for Craft and Smith will be somewhat muted.
"There's no way that you can fully appreciate the moment until you have time and perspective," Tony said. "You've got to remember, they're getting ready for a big game and mentally that takes a lot of your brain power away from contemplating what a big moment this is for you."
Tony talked more with Joel about the Buckeyes and the NCAA tournament, their recent struggles and their chances of going on a run. To listen to the interview, click here.