Coleman says step on face accidental

Updated: January 25, 2009, 9:29 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Houston guard Aubrey Coleman issued an apology Sunday after stepping on the face of Arizona player Chase Budinger during a game the previous day.

Coleman, a junior and the team's second-leading scorer, was ejected after stepping on Budinger's face following a charge call with 9:51 left in the second half. Arizona rallied for a 96-90 win in overtime.

"I want to apologize to Chase Budinger for what happened Saturday night. I never meant to step on him," Coleman said in a statement issued by the school. "I have never been in an incident like this before, and I have nothing but respect for him as a great player.

"I love the game too much to do something like that intentionally. I want to say I am sorry from the bottom of my heart," Coleman said. "I know that God knows what is in my heart, but I am hopeful that Chase will understand and forgive."

Houston coach Tom Penders said he regretted the incident but does not believe Coleman intentionally stepped on Budinger.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press