“But eventually what’s going to happen is this: An Arizona player is going to punch a fan and they’re going to punch a fan out of self-defense.”
That comment from University of Arizona head coach Sean Miller following his team’s loss at unranked Colorado on Wednesday night is a bit misguided. It’s actually very misguided.
The Colorado fans and Colorado students rushed the court after the Buffalos upset the No.9 ranked Wildcats 75-72 and snapped the Wildcats’ 6-game win streak. After a deep three to try and tie the game bounced off the back of the rim and time expired, the Arizona players slowly sulked off the court as the Colorado student section rushed by the players to center court. A few students bumped the Wildcats players on the way by, but nothing that seemed too confrontational and Miller is saying someday an Arizona player is going to “punch a fan?” Says a lot about the control you have over your players, coach.
Let’s not forget the building blocks of any college program in the country. Students. Students enjoy these basketball games and follow their school’s team through the tournament. Stories and experiences that they take with them when they graduate college. Then as graduates they get jobs, make money, and filter that money back into the program so current students can have the same experience that they did. How does a player cocking back and punching a fan across the face look for your program and potential sponsors?
Miller gave us an example of a future scenario: “If 7-foot-2, 250-pound Kaleb Tarczewski gets bumped literally within three seconds of the game ending and he retaliates, what would be the response of our conference?”
Well, what if I am walking out of class at Boston University after failing a final and all the kids in the next class come flying in all excited because they are having an end of the year party instead of taking a final? What would happen to me if I punched one of those students? The answer should be obvious and the same should apply to “7-foot-2, 250-pound Kaleb Tarczewksi.”
Coach Miller needs to better educate his players on losing if he has the inkling of belief that one of them would hit a fan after losing a close game.
But in all honesty, there’s a better suggestion for Coach Miller and the Wildcats…Don’t lose the game!