A college basketball player, who sparked a debate about whether he intentionally touched a fan’s chest in front of the camera, insisted he “doesn’t remember” any contact.
Benedict Mathurin, 19, the University of Arizona star, was seen on video spreading his arms to celebrate the Wildcats’ 85-80 overtime win over the TCU in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Sunday.
The footage circulating from the TV broadcast appears to show Mathurin awkwardly touching a member of the TCU dance team, known as Showgirls.
A different vantage point makes it appear that he doesn’t touch the fan at all, and he can be seen walking around the woman to avoid getting too close as he passes.
Mathurin met with the media on Wednesday before Arizona’s Sweet 16 showdown with Houston on Thursday and was asked about the incident.
“I’ve already sent an email to try and reach the cheerleader,” Mathurin said. “Through the UCSD Athletics Department, I reached out to her and that’s it.”
Then he was asked if he had spoken to the woman and replied: I answered your question.
Benedict Mathurin, 19, a star at the University of Arizona, spoke to the media on Wednesday after sparking a debate about whether he touched a fan’s chest after the game. Mathurin said he did it unintentionally and reached out to the woman to apologize
Mathurin met with the media ahead of the Sweet 16 game in Arizona against Houston on Thursday night
Officials at the University of Arizona and TCU were reportedly in contact after Wildcats star guard Benedict Mathurin tapped a fan’s chest on Sunday.
The university’s athletic director, Dave Heck, supported him before Mathurin spoke to the press.
Soon after returning to Tucson, I was notified that people on social media were claiming a video showing Benedict Mathurin may have had physical contact with a University of North Carolina student as he was getting out of court. I reached out to TCU’s athletics department and spoke with Bennedict, ”Tell Heeke ESPN.
“Although he does not remember any contact, he did try to reach the TCU student through the sports department to apologize.”
TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati said: Hey ho That they “had been in contact” with Arizona and “received calls from their student-athlete,” but did not say anything else.
Videos of the incident that were circulating on social media got a lot of attention, with Twitter users debating whether Mathurin deserved discipline or whether what happened was just an accident.
In the video, the fan does not appear to be rocking or reacting in any of the videos that have appeared, leading many online to say that there is nothing sinister at the moment.
In the more recent footage of the stadium, filmed from a different vantage point by @hostessproblem3, Mathurin does not appear to touch the cheerleader at all, and can be seen walking around the woman to avoid getting too close as he passes.
Perhaps the guard miscalculated the space for him to extend his arms while out of court
“Definitely not on purpose,” the poster captioned the video.
‘The strange thing is… If he was so guilty, don’t you think the cheerleader or Arizona BB/Ben would have made a statement? What happened to the innocent until proven guilty??’
Several users spoke out in defense of the sophomore from Montreal, who led the comeback of the Wildcats men’s basketball team. He averaged 17.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting 37.6 percent from a three-point range. Mathurin was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and selected for the All-American team by the Associated Press.
The outstanding player has overcome tragedy to become one of the best college basketball players this season — at just 12, the Canadian lost his 15-year-old brother in a bicycle accident, according to the CBC.
He and his sister turned to basketball to acclimatize. Jennifer Mathurin has continued to play with the North Carolina State Women’s Power Program and is currently an assistant coach at Bishop University.
Videos of the incident circulating on social media have received a lot of attention
Twitter users debate whether Mathurin deserves to be disciplined or whether it was just an accident
“He was partying with his arms outstretched, didn’t see her until late, obviously moved his left arm back as he puts it on the floor,” one Twitter user wrote on Monday.
If he touched her (maybe he didn’t), he was clearly trying to avoid her. This is not an issue that should not be legitimized through recognition.
Another user ventured that TCU fans were too close to the courthouse exit and should have made a move.
“[Another player] I had to slip around them too to get into the locker room. So far, I haven’t heard the fan’s complaint, so either this didn’t happen or I realized it wasn’t on purpose, “this user tweeted.
Others questioned whether Mathurin touched the cheerleader, arguing that the depth of the angle could play a role in making the video show something that didn’t really happen.
One Twitter user commented that Mathurin should apologize, but the incident seemed unintentional
Several social media users have spoken out in defense of the sophomore from Montreal, who led the comeback of the Wildcats men’s basketball team. He averaged 17.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting 37.6 percent from a three-point range
The outstanding player overcame tragedy to become one of the most popular college basketball players this season – at just 12 years old, the Canadian lost his 15-year-old brother in a bicycle accident
Mathurin, 19, led Arizona State to an 85-80 overtime win over the TCU on Sunday
Mathurin is a top contender in this year’s NBA Draft
Meanwhile, some blamed Mathurin for the accident and criticized that the video was not taken as seriously as it should be.
One user wrote: “He seemed to instinctively slap or shake his hand, on his way to the closet…maybe another angle.”
This cannot go away. User Mike Regalado said on Twitter: “He must take responsibility for his actions.
Mathurin, a sophomore at the University of Arizona, scored 30 points in Sunday’s game, to lead his team to the Sweet 16.
He is considered a top contender in this year’s NBA Draft.
Mathurin has been through a lot in clutch situations for Arizona. It’s no surprise that he made his biggest plays this season when the Wildcats needed him most.
The sophomore shooting guard made a triple pointer to force overtime and then scored six more points in the overtime as the ninth-seeded Arizona edged out a TCU 85-80 Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mathurin, Pac-12 Player of the Year and AP All-American second-team, finished with 30 points.
After Kerr Kriisa missed the score 3, Mathurin was able to wrestle the ball away from TCU’s Emanuel Miller and put it in the net to give the Wildcats an 83-80 lead with 1:11 remaining.
After getting the rebound and making the basket, Mathurin made two fist pumps near the baseline.
“My coaches were taking advantage of me for not getting enough rebounds. I was very happy to get the offensive rebounds,” said Mathurin, the sixth Arizona player to score at least 30 points in an NCAA game.
So I just went out and got the rebound. And I was emotional.
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