Oregon AD apologizes for fans' behavior toward Love

Updated: January 29, 2008, 10:32 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Oregon's athletic director has apologized to UCLA for the behavior of Ducks fans toward Bruins freshman Kevin Love last week.

Pat Kilkenny left messages Monday for coach Ben Howland, athletic director Dan Guerrero and Love's father Stan, who starred for Oregon in the early 1970s.

The younger Love and his father were booed and jeered unmercifully by the student section at McArthur Court last Thursday, when the fifth-ranked Bruins defeated the Ducks 80-75. Love had 26 points and 18 rebounds.

The Love family was the target of homophobic chants and signs with offensive messages, some of which were confiscated.

"It was pretty bad and I heard a lot of stuff," Love said Tuesday.

Kilkenny made the calls "to talk and apologize," Oregon basketball spokesman Greg Walker said.

Howland said he didn't speak with Kilkenny but considers the matter "behind us now."

Oregon coach Ernie Kent addressed student fans before last Saturday's game against Southern California, warning them about their behavior.

"It's an ongoing thing to try to get our students to behave properly," Walker said.

Love said he appreciated Kent's actions. He resisted responding to the fans as the Bruins headed to the locker room after the game.

"I can't tell you if there was a better feeling in my whole basketball career than just walking off that court, taking the higher road and just feeling good about that game," he said. "Coming back from down seven with seven minutes to go and hitting those big shots in such a hostile environment; it was one of my favorite games ever to win."

Oregon officials discussed the incident with Pac-10 officials, and no action will be taken against the school, league spokesman Dave Hirsch said.

"They did cross the line," Hirsch said about Oregon fans. "We count on our institutions to police their crowds."

Hirsch said the conference is urging its schools to be proactive in monitoring student sections before games.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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