Providence to increase security

Updated: January 21, 2009, 8:45 PM ET
Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Providence plans to increase security at men's basketball games after the brother of a player walked onto the court to confront a referee during a game last week.

Officials said uniformed Providence police officers will now be positioned behind team benches during games at the Dunkin' Donuts Center and that more security guards would also be used.

"It's a reaction to an embarrassing situation," said Carl LaBranche, Providence's associate athletic director for facilities and game management. "As the renters and the school that's putting on the event, our concern is any breach in safety and security."

The announcement comes four days after Jonathan Xavier, the brother of Providence guard Jeff Xavier, came down from the stands and jumped over the Providence bench to confront a referee during the second half of Saturday's game against Marquette.

He was upset no foul was called after his brother hit his face on a defender's arm while driving to the basket; replays seemed to show that the non-call was correct. Marquette won the game 91-82.

Marquette coach Buzz Williams had threatened to pull his team off the court, saying it was a dangerous situation for his players.

A police department spokeswoman said Jonathan Xavier had been charged with disorderly conduct. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

The heightened security was used during Providence's win Monday against Cincinnati, LaBranche said.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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