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USU investigating alleged incident that triggered Nevada coaches, players following loss



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LOGAN — Nevada coach Eric Musselman was understandably upset following the Wolf Pack’s 81-76 upset loss at Utah State late Saturday night.

So, too, was Jordan Caroline, who had just 7 points and seven rebounds on 3-of-15 shooting for the No. 12-ranked Pack.

But there were a lot of extra emotions floating around the visiting locker room inside the sold-out Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum Arena that night after the game.

Following the game, members of the media could hear Nevada players and coaches yelling about an alleged incident in the tunnels of the arena. What prompted the incident is still unclear, but officials are investigating.

In video shot by a KUTV photographer and circulated online via social media following the Wolf Pack’s loss, Caroline is seen punching an emergency fire extinguisher cabinet, glass and all. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward then had to be restrained by players and coaches during an expletive-laced tirade.

A Nevada staff member can be heard in the footage explaining part of Nevada’s upset reaction to Utah State officials. The reaction apparently stems from contact between Aggie fans and Nevada players during a postgame court storming that caused the Wolf Pack to exit the court at the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum Arena through the wrong doorway.

Attempts to get to the visiting locker room brought Nevada players and coaches to an area just outside the Utah State home locker room.

In the video footage, one coach can be heard telling officials and at least one Logan-area police officer that a Utah State coach directed an expletive toward the visiting team.

"That hasn’t happened one time, since we’ve been in this league, that someone says ‘(expletive) you’ through the whole line," the staffer said. He added that it's "unacceptable on your guys’ part," to allow that language.

Another Nevada coach then tells an officer, "Don't touch my (expletive) players" as the team is escorted to the locker room amid shards of broken glass.

Fans celebrate with Utah State forward Justin Bean on the court after Utah State defeated Nevada 81-76 in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (Photo: Eli Lucero, The Herald Journal via AP)
Fans celebrate with Utah State forward Justin Bean on the court after Utah State defeated Nevada 81-76 in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (Photo: Eli Lucero, The Herald Journal via AP)

Additional video obtained by KSL TV shows that a near-altercation occurred between the two teams as Nevada players attempted to move past the Aggie home locker room following the court storm.

Video from the stands shows a few Nevada players react as if being pushed by onrushing fans during the postgame court-storming. But no confrontation between coaches and players can be seen during the handshake line.

Nevada did not comment on specific allegations in the immediate aftermath of the incident to the local media. Neither Musselman nor any players spoke to the local media following the game.

"We are working with officials from the Mountain West Conference and Utah State to gather more information about the events that occurred this evening in Logan," a spokesperson told ESPN.

Utah State athletic director John Hartwell said his staff has also been working with the conference and Nevada to determine what happened that caused the incident.

"After being notified of an incident in the hallway of the locker rooms after the completion of the game, I have been consulting with Mountain West senior associate commissioner Dan Butterly, who was in attendance at the game, and Nevada deputy AD Rory Hickock, who was also in attendance at the game," Hartwell said in a statement.

"In addition, I have spoken by phone with Nevada AD Doug Knuth, and we will continue to gather information, including surveillance videos of exactly what happened, and work closely with the Mountain West Conference and the University of Nevada to determine what started the situation and how we are going to deal with those involved."

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