Sat, 25 Mar 2023

Eastern Illinois to discipline player who swung at fan

Field Level Media
05 Feb 2023, 02:40 GMT+10

Eastern Illinois said it will discipline a men's basketball player who took a swing at fan during a game.

The school will discipline Panthers guard Kinyon Hodges "internally," according to a statement.

In a video replay from the first half of Thursday night's 80-67 road loss at Lindenwood, Hodges is shown walking over to the sideline and swiping at someone sitting courtside.

Two fans immediately stood up and pointed toward an official, who issued a technical foul to Hodges but did not throw him out of the game. It's unclear what might have prompted Hodges' actions.

"We are aware of the incident that occurred during the first half of our men's basketball game at Lindenwood last night. As an athletic department, Eastern Illinois prides itself on good sportsmanship. We do not condone this type of behavior by our men's basketball team or any of our 500 student-athletes," said athletic director Tom Michael in a statement released Friday.

"The issue has been addressed with both the player involved for EIU as well as the Ohio Valley Conference with any disciplinary action to be handled internally. The player in question understands that this is not the type of behavior displayed by our student-athletes or our men's basketball program and in the heat of the moment let emotions get the best of him. This will be a learning moment moving forward and we apologize to anyone that may have been adversely impacted by the incident."

Hodges, a 6-foot-2 junior, finished with two points on 1-of-4 shooting in 24 minutes against Lindenwood.

For the season, he is averaging a team-high 13.8 points plus 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 20 games.

"I spoke with the young man this morning (Friday) and he is extremely sorry for his actions at last night's basketball game," EIU head coach Marty Simmons said. "This is not in the character of this young man. Even though he did not make physical contact with the fan, he understands the seriousness of this and regrets that his actions have negatively impacted the view of not only himself but the Eastern Illinois program."

The Panthers (7-17, 3-8 Ohio Valley Conference) host Tennessee State (13-11, 5-6) on Saturday afternoon.

--Field Level Media

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