Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Pregame Fight Results in Two Suspensions

Georgetown announced on Wednesday night the suspension of two players following a pregame altercation between the Georgetown and Louisville women’s basketball teams on Saturday. Georgetown came out on the right end of a 60-56 contest, in which there were 52 fouls.

The incident that occurred more than an hour before tip-off was desrcibed as a \”melee\” by Washington Post Staff Writer Kathy Orton in an article published on Sunday and was captured on film by Big East Network cameras filming the game. The audio-only footage has been aired by ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” during the past week.

Immediately after the game, coaches of both teams said that they could not comment on the incident until they had seen the footage. Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz stated that the officials had not notified him or the team about the incident prior to the game. The Washington Post reported that no technical fouls were given to either side, since the incident took place more than 15 minutes before game time.

Georgetown did comment on the incident. Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said that the school would “continue to promote good sportsmanship.”

The suspensions were handed down by Georgetown University – not the Big East – for “violating team rules,” according to the press release. It stated that, “both players were given a one-game suspension following review of the tape by Georgetown administrators and the coaching staff. They will serve the suspensions at the home game against DePaul on Saturday at McDonough Arena.”

Associate Sports Informtation Director Barbara Jonas said in an e-mail that the incident was an internal issue and would not release the names of the two players suspended.

“The Georgetown administration didn’t want to add an additional layer of punishment to the student-athletes by making this a public reprimand,” she said.

Jonas did not discuss how administrators and coaches settled on the punishment.

“We will also not be discussing how the decision was made,” she said. “But I can assure you that [Williams-Flournoy], our administration and the Big East were all involved and agree on the final decision.”

The Washington Post originally reported that, while Louisville was taking pregame laps, \”more than 15 minutes before the game, [one of the Georgetown players] reportedly stuck out her foot and tripped a Louisville player. Words were exchanged and soon several players from both teams were throwing punches. Eventually, the sides were separated and order was restored.”

“At this point neither [Williams-Flournoy] nor the department will be commenting on the incident,” Jonas said. “According to the Big East’s statement, Louisville will be following a similar action, but that was decided upon by [its] administration and approved by the conference.”

Georgetown had its own take on the incident.

“In addition, Georgetown University regrets the incident occurred and has taken steps to prevent these types of events by limiting Georgetown student-athlete warm-ups to their designated end of the court,” the press release said. “Georgetown is taking this action to promote sportsmanship prior to the game.”

A press release on the Big East Conference’s web site stated, “The Big East Conference has reviewed the materials and information provided by the administrators at both Louisville and Georgetown in the wake of the women’s basketball pregame altercation on Jan. 16. Actions include a total of three players being suspended from a game, private team and individual reprimands, as well ongoing seminars and training of related issues.

“The Big East commends both institutions for their prompt and thorough review of this situation. The conference and its membership genuinely regrets that such an incident occurred and will take steps to ensure that this is the first, last and only time such behavior and actions ever occur.”

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