University of Miami officials apologized to North Carolina State after a fan shoved a Wolfpack player Thursday night in the final seconds of the Hurricanes’ victory.
N.C. State’s Anthony Barber was struck in the back by the fan, who was in one of the courtside seats at the Bank United Center. The fan’s identity, if known, was not released by Miami officials.
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An investigation was ongoing.
Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga apologized in the hallway outside the interview room to N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried after the game, and athletic director Blake James issued apologies to Gottfried and Wolfpack athletic director Debbie Yow.
"I don’t think it was a really hard shove. Certainly, you don’t want fans putting their hands on players. That should never happen, anywhere, certainly, but we’ll move on from it," said Gottfried, who learned of the incident postgame when his daughter showed him video on her phone.
James was not made aware of the matter until several minutes after the final whistle.
"First, I want to apologize to the student-athlete involved, Coach Gottfried and North Carolina State University," James said in a statement released to The Associated Press. "This type of behavior is not representative of the University of Miami or our athletic program and will not be tolerated. We will review the video and discuss with the ACC the appropriate actions in addressing this issue."
The incident happened not long after Barber fouled Miami’s Angel Rodriguez with 21 seconds left and the Hurricanes leading 61-60.
Replays showed that when Barber got up, the fan pushed him in the back. Barber was called for a push-off foul on the next N.C. State possession, and the Hurricanes held on from there.
Gottfried told Larranaga that he accepted the apology.