Friday, March 13, 2015

Big Sky Statement on NAU/Montana Postgame Scuffle

After the postgame scuffle between Montana and Northern Arizona, the Big Sky has issued a postgame statement:

“First thing, I want to compliment the players,’’ Fullerton said. “The players as we watch them, there are no punches thrown, and they are breaking it up. They absolutely did a good job, both sets of players. The one thing people want to know about is (Montana coach) Travis (DeCuire). I see absolutely no action by Travis that would cause us to suspend him or cause any problems for Travis tomorrow. We’re still reviewing the head coach at Northern Arizona.’’

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8 comments:

  1. Thoughts on last night's game. In the end it is good for NAU because the national consensus, outside of UM fans and a commissioner who wants to sell out the championship game, is that NAU got a raw deal (see ESPN). The exposure for NAU will be very beneficial to recruiting efforts and frankly it will help to put Coach Murph on the radar for future coaching jobs (google the stories on the ending, lots of press, more than NAU has had in years). The facts are this...that kid from Montana screwed up...if he didn't he wouldn't have dove back to the sideline and gotten chewed out by his coach. It should have been a technical (two of the rules contradict each other and not surprisingly the Conference chose to enforce one, but not the other). Montana was already operating on a bench warning so that should have been a foul for three reasons...1) the presence of the player was noted by NAU's players and caused confusion which affected their reaction in that moment, 2) along the same lines the presence of the player on the court sends a message to the crowd that the game is over and will encourage them to charge the court, which is exactly what happened on the opposite side (2 Griz fans ran the court), and 3) and most importantly, having bodies flying onto and diving off the court is EXTREMELY dangerous to the players. In fact, watch the video, a few players are looking backward toward the ball and running down court. If that kid dove under one of the players the result could easily be a serious injury.

    I want to say that a tech in that moment probably wouldn't have resulted in a changed result. 2 free throws in that environment is a 50/50 proposition, plus if they forced OT, who knows if they could have won. The Griz are irritating as hell to watch play...it's a hack fest, slow pace, no really amazing athletes to watch fly around (like Q for NAU, what a dunk!), but they play well together and have lots of role players that step up. NAU outplayed the spread in a hostile environment, but they let Gregory get an easy layup and that is on them....

    I can't wait for a neutral site tournament. Neutral site and NAU wins. The call on Yanku at .30 should have gone uncalled, but crowds do impact referee calls especially when everyone wants a packed championship game.

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  2. Regarding the altercation...it's much to do about nothing. I have watched it from three different angles (you can find the most recent angle on youtube if you search the last day and "decuire") and in slow motion. Murphy never contacted Decuire outside of the handshake. I am not a master lips reader but it appears he said.."f ing" lucky on that call" Coach Murph pointed toward Decuire's chest but did not touch him. Decuire actually moves forward toward Coach Murphs face and points back at his face but doesn't touch Murph. Then NAU assistant coach smartly jumps immediately in between them both and a surge of mostly Montana players and assistants formed a pile that moved in the direction of the NAU players. The NAU players were extremely disciplined and basically just stood there. The Montana players were also pretty disciplined excepting Jordan Gregory who was out of control and pursued the NAU players that were trying to leave the arena (Bruenig did some minor pushing). A player in street clothes grabbed Gregory and physically took him away. I don't think there should be discipline for any one, but Montana's AD should talk to his coach about handling those situations in the future in terms of jumping around and acting like an idiot and inciting an already frenzied crowd. NAU's AD should tell Jack that in the future when you get screwed in Montana, just take it, shake, and move on. This won't change any thing and hosting teams will continue to receive favored treatment in those situations. Bottom line for all the other league teams...to beat UM, you have to beat them by so much that it doesn't come down to referee calls. No use crying over it- it is what it is. But, one thing that needs to occur and it appears that the league will not address it is a rule change or modification to deal with the two conflicting rules. Why? Because as it is, this same thing can occur tonight. Let's hope no one gets hurt because of this lack of clarity. #1JacksFan

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  3. Note that Fullerton twice referred to the Montana coach as "Travis" and referred to the NAU coach as "the head coach at Northern Arizona."

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  4. Disagree with suspension. Nau coach didn't touch pointed and yelled. Montana coach pulled.

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  5. And, of course, no reprimand for Montana for lack of control of bench personnel and no reprimand for refs for what a number of commentators are calling interference.

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  6. Love Goach Murphy's statement...A classy but strong poke in the eye on Commissioner Arrogant Small Brain..."My involvement in the post game incident consisted solely of me pointing my finger and saying "You Got Lucky" (on the tech call). At no point did I curse." Amazing a coach got suspended for that. Commissioner Arrogant Small Brain needs to be removed for showing favoritism in this case..he calls one coach by his first name, the other coach by the ethereal "NAU's head coach." Unbelievable. I hope that Lisa Campos and Dr. Cheng file a protest and then work with other conference leaders to remove this guy before he does more damage to the league. i love the fight in Coach Murphy!

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  7. I see both sides of this situation. One one side: Murphy was fired up (with good reason) for the drama at the end of the game. He's loud and passionate on the sideline to begin with and due to what was at stake in this game...I can see why he lost it. I'm thrilled to see a coach who cares like this and am excited because I think this just amped up the rivalry with UofM. If I was a player, I'd prefer to see a coach who didn't take a hose job lying down. On the other hand: Coach Murphy should have kept his ire directed at the officials instead of at Coach Decuire. Even though all the videos I saw don't make Decuire out to be an angel in this situation....Murphy started it. And this isn't a jr. high playground where it's always the second person who gets caught. Ultimately, the behavior I saw from both coaches tells me they're both ultra passionate and hot-headed. That means they both give a damn...and I think they'll both be beneficial to the conference in the long run. I'm sad it resulted in a suspension but I'd think 3 non-conference games would be more reasonable than a playoff game. I haven't paid enough attention to Commissioner Fullerton to know if he's fair in these situations or not. -MTJack

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