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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Coleman’s stomp stokes Internet fires

    Officials and players from both teams try to break up a scuffle after Houston guard Aubrey Coleman stepped on UA forward Chase Budingers face. Coleman issued an apology the following day, but that didnt stop upwards of 4.6 million people from seeing a video post of the incident on YouTube.
    Officials and players from both teams try to break up a scuffle after Houston guard Aubrey Coleman stepped on UA forward Chase Budinger’s face. Coleman issued an apology the following day, but that didn’t stop upwards of 4.6 million people from seeing a video post of the incident on YouTube.

    Aubrey Coleman wasn’t a household name in college basketball until Sunday evening.

    It only took one play to stir up the attention of players and fans, and suddenly the Houston guard found himself viewed by more than 4.6 million people – in a negative light.

    Coleman stomped on Chase Budinger’s face Saturday afternoon in McKale Center, which ultimately became the turning point for the Wildcats in a 96-90 comeback victory.

    By Monday afternoon, the incident was picked up nationwide on popular sports Web sites, blogs and even ESPN – which brought an immense amount of national attention and criticism. One YouTube video of the flagrant foul received upwards of 4.6 million views as of Monday night.

    Coleman wanted to issue an apology immediately following the game in Tucson, but was instructed to “”get out of the arena,”” he said. On Sunday, Coleman addressed a group of Houston press members in his first public appearance since the incident.

    In the interview, Coleman not only praised Budinger’s collegiate accomplishments, but he admitted that Arizona has always been one of his favorite schools to watch.

    “”I’m just not no bad guy. I go to church, I pray,”” Coleman said. “”I love the game too much to even let it get to that way.

    “”I was in the locker room crying listening to it. It happened, and I couldn’t take it back,”” he added. “”(Budinger is) one of my favorite players. I’ve been watching Arizona since I was in high school.””

    Not only did millions of viewers watch the foul, but it’s also stirred up commentary and responses. Since featured on Yahoo! Sports, the story has received more than 10,000 comments, many of them livid about Coleman’s actions.

    Facebook groups have also surfaced, with names like: “”Aubrey Coleman is a stupid douche,”” and “”Aubrey Colemen deserves to never play a collegiate basketball game again”” and “”Dismiss Aubrey Coleman from the NCAA.””

    Coleman said he emailed Budinger with a personal apology.

    “”I just feel that the media blew it up bigger than what it was,”” Coleman said. “”We had a big lead, and I was having fun out there. I didn’t try to do that on purpose.””

    At the time of the Wildcats’ weekly news conference on Monday, those available to the media – Jordan Hill, Nic Wise and UA interim head coach Russ Pennell – hadn’t heard about or seen Coleman’s apology.

    Wise and Hill chose not to comment when informed about the apology, while Pennell briefly discussed it.

    Budinger was not made available to the media on Monday.

    Photo by Michael Ignatov
    Officials and players from both teams try to break up a scuffle after Houston guard Aubrey Coleman stepped on UA forward Chase Budinger’s face. Coleman issued an apology the following day, but that didn’t stop upwards of 4.6 million people from seeing a video post of the incident on YouTube.

    “”I would just say, I’m going to take (the apology) for what it is and think it’s sincere and believe in the young man,”” Pennell said.

    He said after the game that he did not see the actual stomp from the bench, just the aftermath. After reviewing game tape, Pennell confirmed that he believed it was intentional, just like he did after the game.

    “”I thought it was unfortunate,”” he said. “”I’ve never heard anyone say he’s a dirty player. I just know even good kids blow their cool. We all have that tendency. It was an unfortunate thing and not something good for college basketball.””

    Along with reviewing video of the Coleman incident, Pennell also watched the entire game with his daughter.

    Immediately after the game, Pennell said the final minute happened so quickly that he couldn’t recall the exact play-by-play.

    Pennell watched the final few minutes with his daughter, who said she noticed that his palms were sweating, even though he already knew the outcome.

    “”I didn’t realize it was double digits (with less than a minute remaining in regulation),”” he said. “”It was exciting to watch it again. A game like that as a coach, it was fun to watch knowing the outcome. It was amazing. It was just a great, great college basketball game.””

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