North Carolina State sophomore Cat Barber helped lead the Wolfpack to an improbable run to the Sweet 16 as a No. 8 seed. After a win in the Round of 32 over No. 1 seed Villanova, Barber was caught on video going on a profane outburst directed at President Barack Obama. Obama had picked Villanova to reach the Final Four in his bracket.
The video — which caught Barber motivating himself by using the perceived slights of another to get himself pumped up like many competitors tend to do — drew national attention since it was directed at the Commander in Chief.
Barber apologized to President Obama on Twitter on Monday, but he went a step further by sending an email through an N.C. State connection to the White House on Tuesday.
According to a story from Joe Giglio of the News Observer, Barber’s email apology was given to Obama’s former White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, who is an N.C. State graduate.
The email found its way to the President and Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried said the apology was accepted.
“He understood and he knew it was in the heat of the moment and accepted the apology,” Gottfried said of President Obama’s response.
Gottfried went on to say Barber’s reaction after the win was “100 percent in the heat of the moment, in a fun way.” He still wanted Barber to apologize and it’s probably the right move for all parties involved. Now the Wolfpack can move on and focus on their Sweet 16 against No. 4 seed Louisville this week.
NC State guard Cat Barber was taken out of Thursday night’s ACC Tournament quarterfinal loss to Duke after being leveled by a screen from Amile Jefferson.
The concern was that Barber, the team’s third-leading scorer, had suffered a concussion. On Friday afternoon, the program announced that was not the case and he will be able to appear in NC State’s next contest. The official release states he suffered spasms in his neck.
“He just didn’t see it,” Jefferson said when asked about the play, via Joe Gigilo of the News Observer. “I knew it was going to be a tough hit for him. That’s why after that timeout, I went to check on him, make sure he was all right.”
Even with the loss NC State remains in the projected tournament field as a No. 9 seed. The quarterfinal loss to Duke could serve as a blessing in disguise for Barber, who will have the rest of the week to recover before the NCAA tournament begins on Thursday afternoon.
After posting a resounding 90-74 win at then-No. 4 Duke just over a week ago, Miami was unable to build on that momentum as they loss at Notre Dame on Saturday. With that being the case, the Hurricanes’ home game against NC State was an important one as both have designs on earning an NCAA tournament bid.
The Hurricanes won 65-60, with Sheldon McClellan accounting for 16 points and ten rebounds and three other starters reaching double figures. Miami picking up a quality home win should be the focus here, but thanks to a fan it isn’t.
Following the game, both head coach Jim Larrañaga and athletic director Blake James had to apologize to both NC State head coach Mark Gottfried and athletic director Debbie Yow as a result of a spectator pushing NC State point guard Cat Barber. Barber, who had fallen to the floor, was pushed in the back by the fan after rising to his feet.
Whether defined as a “push” or a “shove” there was no need for the fan to put his hand on Barber. Thankfully Barber exhibited some restraint and did not retaliate. Buying a ticket doesn’t give a spectator the right to do what this gentleman did Thursday night in Coral Gables.
Vine credit: Joe Ovies