ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico has banned a cup-throwing fan from any sporting event at the school effectively immediately and through the end of the 2014-15 season.
Athletic director Paul Krebs said the length of the ban was “mutually agreed upon” between the offending fan and the school.
The Journal has requested the name of the fan, but UNM did not identify him.
“I feel it’s in the best interests of all concerned that the name not be released,” Krebs said. Earlier in a statement released by UNM, he added: “We consider this matter closed.”
After the Feb. 22 Lobos men’s basketball victory over then-No. 6 San Diego State, and after the Lobos and Aztecs players got into a shoving match in a postgame handshake line, a UNM fan threw a cup at an Aztec player as the team walked off the court toward the team locker room.
On the night of the game, he was quickly singled out and pointed out to security by Lobos head coach Craig Neal, among others, but security personnel did not take the fan’s name when he was ushered out of the arena.
After more than a week of trying to contact the fan, who was identified through witnesses and video clips of the incident, UNM officials spoke with him this week and determined he is not the owner of the season ticket used for that game but had purchased it from the ticket’s owner. UNM is still determining what, if any, action will be taken against the owners of the season tickets, who are ultimately responsible for the tickets’ use.
The cup-tossing fan is in possession of the tickets for tonight’s Air Force-UNM men’s basketball game at the Pit, Krebs said. Those tickets have been disabled, meaning the bar code associated with those tickets would be flagged and the holder would be denied entry at the gate if he or she tried to get in.
Here is the Krebs statement released Tuesday:
“As folks know, at the February 22 basketball game between the University of New Mexico and San Diego State University, we had an unfortunate incident occur at the end of the game where a Lobo fan threw a cup with ice at the San Diego State team as they were exiting the court. The Athletics Department has identified, contacted and spoken with the individual responsible for this act. The person in question has been banned from attending any Lobo athletic events, basketball or otherwise, on the UNM campus for the remainder of this year and for the 2014-15 athletic season.
“The individual responsible purchased his seats for the game from a season ticket holder. The season ticket holder is responsible for the actions of the people in their seats, and we are in discussions with them about this incident as well. We appreciate the many individuals who helped us in this processâ€‹.
“The vast majority of our fans are great fans who enthusiastically cheer on our Lobos and have made The Pit one of the greatest home court environments in college basketball. However, we will not tolerate fan behavior incidents such as the one that occurred on the 22nd, as it puts the program, the university, and the city in such a poor light. We now consider this matter closed.”