Florida fan kicked out for wrapping arm around Kentucky player’s neck during basketball game
A University of Florida fan was ejected from the Gators’ basketball game against the University of Kentucky on Wednesday after wrapping his arm around the neck of a Wildcats player in the second half.
Kentucky’s Cason Wallace went to save a ball from out of bounds and after that, one of the fans sitting courtside in the arena wearing an orange Florida Gators shirt, was seen standing and reaching out.
It ended up wrapping around Wallace’s neck and the game was called off.
Head coach John Calipari was livid on the Kentucky sideline as referees began to discuss what had happened. The play was reviewed and the video replay clearly showed the referees what everyone saw at home.
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“It’s inexcusable,” said one of ESPN’s announcers. “It’s an easy decision. This guy is gone. … This guy should never come to another game.”
“No, never,” replied his broadcast partner. “And in the SEC, not just on this campus. It’s as bad as you can act as a fan. … Absolutely unacceptable.”
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The fan was eventually seen walking on the floor, as were some apparent friends he was sitting with.
Advertisers also didn’t appreciate fans trying to get the crowd excited by leaving the venue. “No, don’t ask for applause. That’s the wrong answer. You were wrong and you have to go.”
The game was deadlocked at 50 apiece with 13:47 left in the second half, but in the end the Wildcats secured a road conference victory, 82-74.
Wallace, who played 38 minutes for Calipari, finished the game with eight points, six assists and two rebounds.
Oscar Tshiebwe led the night with 25 points, while Jacob Toppin, brother of New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin, had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Antonio Reeves also added 16 points for Kentucky.
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The Wildcats outscored the Gators 46-37 in the second half after entering the locker room by one, 37-36.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time someone who isn’t supposed to interact with players has stopped a game.
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During a game between Mississippi Valley State and Alabama A&M earlier this month, a cheerleader entered the field to confront a player after appearing to impede his stunt near the baseline on his inbound pass .
The cheerleader was eventually ejected.