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The postgame happenings after the Nevada Men’s Basketball game against Utah State have been a bigger story than the game itself. After the Aggies defeated the Wolf Pack, a series of events seemed to unfold between Nevada players and coaches, and Utah State coaches.

In his weekly Monday Mailbag column, Nevada SportsNet reporter Chris Murray best describes the timeline of the night. The events most likely to cause all the issues between the two teams are the handshakes after the game and the unknown spark of the usually even-tempered Jordan Caroline.

In the handshake line, an unknown Utah State assistant seems to say expletives to Nevada players and coaches. The Nevada players and staff were forced to enter the Utah State tunnel, due to their tunnel being blocked after students rushed the court.

A dejected Caroline is seen by security footage entering the hallway. As he walks towards the end, he and two other coaches turn around. The easy-going Caroline seems to be sparked by something still currently unknown, and he sprints to the entrance of the hallway. Followed by other coaches and players, Caroline is brought back and restrained by assistants and teammates after punching through the glass of a fire extinguisher case.  

Assistant coach Gus Argenal, coming to the aid of his players, is seen arguing with an unknown Utah State assistant about their alleged behavior in the post-game handshakes. Multiple coaches had to be restrained by other coaches or event security. Head coach Eric Musselman was wrongly identified as having to be restrained by many news outlets. The coach that had to be restrained was graduate assistant Zewe, who has a similar stature to Musselman. The confusion may have also come from assistant coach Argenal getting into a heated argument with the Utah State assistant in question. Since “Gus” and “Muss” sound similar it is possible to assume that the description of the chaos can be attributed to Musselman.

In a four-tweet thread, Nevada Athletic Director Doug Knuth explained that the Nevada would work with Utah State and the Mountain West Conference to investigate what had actually happened.

On Monday afternoon, the Mountain West had completed their investigation of Saturday night’s incidents.

“After a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Saturday night’s incident, which included a review of numerous video clips from various sources and the collection of written statements from multiple individuals, the Mountain West has concluded the situation was not caused by the court rush. There was a postgame management plan in place and it was executed successfully.

Rather, inappropriate conduct by individuals from both programs in the postgame handshake line and subsequently in the locker room areas created the unfortunate circumstances. The Conference office has had multiple communications with both athletics directors and has shared the findings of its review. Each institution will be responsible for the determination and administration of what it deems appropriate disciplinary action for those involved. It must be made clear unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct is not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” according to the official statement from the conference.

Nevada has decided to pay for the damages to the fire extinguisher case, and not to suspend Caroline, Argenal or Zewe for their actions.

Initially, Caroline and Nevada’s frustration with Utah State fans was thought to be the cause for the night’s commotion. Although, it has been shown not to be the cause the apparent disrespect from Utah State faithful made an impact. An image — called “The Bull-Sheet” — had been discovered on Monday. The picture contains many disturbing taunts and jeers towards Nevada players and Eric Musselman. The most notable are comparing Trey Porter’s arm to a person who has a drug addiction and the assumption that the mother of Caroline’s son, is not with him for his love of anime. The account where the picture originated has since been deleted.

Danyelle Musselman, wife of Eric Musselman, took to Twitter to display her disappointment in Utah State fans and her support for Caroline in four tweets of her own.

Her husband also showed his support for Caroline in tweets of his own, echoing his wife’s sentiments.

“As someone who’s had the honor to know and coach Jordan Caroline for four years, I can testify to his outstanding character, high moral standards and strong integrity. He’s kind, compassionate, and competitive. Basketball aside, we’re fortunate to have such an upstanding young man as a part of the Wolf Pack family.” said Musselman in two separate tweets.

It is still unknown whether or not Caroline will play in Nevada’s Tuesday night game against Air Force at 8 p.m. but an MRI has shown no damage to his hand.

 

 

Darion Strugs can be reached at dstrugs@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @dstrugs.