Did San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin ‘flip the bird’ to a ref?

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While the main story in the Mountain West tournament final was New Mexico’s 68-59 win over San Diego State, according to the Associated Press there may have been another happening worthy of some attention.

According to the report, San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin appeared to visually show his displeasure with a foul call late in the first half by signalling to a referee that he was “number one”.

When asked about it the Mountain West Player of the Year denied doing so, and to be fair a freeze frame can be a bit deceptive so a possible look at the video would be the best way to determine what happened. And it’s also possible that a gesture (if it happened) was directed at a fan, so there could be more to this.

Assistant coach Tony Bland said that he didn’t see anything of the sort happen, adding that he simply felt that Franklin was frustrated with the way the game was going.

“I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I just went up to him,” said Bland. “It was a tough game. We were losing. I just wanted to calm him down and let him know we had a whole other half.”

There hasn’t been a statement from either San Diego State or the Mountain West in regards to the reported incident, and if something were to come of this would it really be anything more than an apology? Have to think that the answer to that question would be no.

Given the tenor of the reporting this seems to be low on the scale of malicious fingers in sports history (if it happened). Michael Vick leaving the field doing so to his own fans at the Georgia Dome in 2006 this is not.

Nor does it seem to be along the lines of former Wyoming head football coach Joe Glenn telling Utah head coach Bronco Mendenhall his opinion of the Utes attempting an onside kick up 43-0 in the third quarter of their 2007 meeting (Utah would win 50-0).