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UNM in pursuit of cup-throwing fan

Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico officials have yet to make contact with the fan they believe threw a cup at a San Diego State player after Saturday’s men’s basketball game in the Pit, but they are hot on the trail.

UNM athletic director Paul Krebs said Thursday that UNM has placed a “hold” on the ticket. He declined to name the individual on Thursday, or say whether he is the owner of a season ticket. The seat he sat in is a chairback, roughly eight rows behind the Lobos bench.

Krebs said UNM has “left multiple telephone messages” in an effort to contact the fan and is in the process of sending a letter to the address on record.

“I think we owe it to him to have a conversation before we take final action, but we feel like action is definitely warranted,” Krebs said. “Right now, I don’t want to try him in the press without him having an opportunity to respond.”

Should there be no contact before Wednesday’s home finale against Air Force, the ticket UNM believes to have been used by the fan will be flagged when scanned at any of the gates entering the arena.

“Our instructions are if those tickets are attempted to be used, the individual with the ticket should be referred to the ticket office and we would have a conversation that night with them,” Krebs told the Journal.

Until UNM talks with the individual, Krebs said he won’t say for sure what the final course of action will be.

Following UNM’s men’s basketball victory over then-No. 6 San Diego State at a sold-out Pit and before a national television audience on ESPN2, players from the two teams began shoving one another in a postgame handshake line. The tensions led to fans and SDSU players shouting back and forth as the visiting team began to walk up the ramp. That’s when a cup came flying from the crowd behind the Lobos bench toward and hit an SDSU player.

Lobos coach Craig Neal immediately, and emphatically, pointed out the individual believed to have thrown the cup. That fan was escorted out of University Arena, but his name was not taken by security at the time.

Meanwhile, a water bottle was thrown toward the players from the other side of the ramp on the south end of the court, but UNM has not been able to determine who threw it.

Neal later made it a point to say, “we don’t do that here,” in reference to the fans’ actions.

Earlier this week, Krebs told the Journal, “Suffice it to say we want to win every game, but we want to do it in a classy way that represents the university and our fan base in the right way,” Krebs said. “When something like this happens, it’s very disturbing. It’s disturbing in a lot of ways – that we don’t have more restraint, that this particular fan thought he could be a part of the action, so to speak. That message is the wrong message. So we reserve the right to ultimately pull season tickets, but I think there is some information gathering that still needs to occur.”


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