WVU president apologizes to Pitt

Updated: February 4, 2010, 9:01 PM ET
Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University president Jim Clements apologized Thursday to the University of Pittsburgh, saying he was "appalled and embarrassed" by fans who threw objects onto the court during Wednesday night's basketball game.

Pittsburgh assistant coach Tom Herrion was hit under his right eye with what appeared to be a coin.

Clements joined Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins in denouncing the behavior.

Clements said the university plans to increase surveillance and security during future games and vowed to prosecute violators "to the fullest extent permitted by law."

He also encouraged fans who observe dangerous or inappropriate behavior to text AID to 94597.

"It is a shame that a terrific performance by our team was overshadowed by the unfortunate actions of a few fans," Clements said.

No. 6 West Virginia beat the Panthers (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) 70-51.

Unruly fans have become an embarrassment for WVU of late.

Last month, the profanity flying out of the West Virginia student section was so loud it could be heard on national television, prompting a university official to warn students to tone down their language at basketball games.

Then during a game against Louisville, students chanted the name of a woman that Cardinals coach Rick Pitino admitted having sex with outside his marriage.

Clements said WVU administrators are working with student government officials to put procedures in place to remedy inappropriate fan behavior.

"Boorish and unruly behavior by our fans will not be tolerated," he said.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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