In one of the more bizarre occurrences of the 2013-14 season, a UCSB fan rushed onto the court during the first half of the Gauchos’ win over Hawaii to confront Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold. The situation occurred with just over six minutes remaining in the first half and the Gauchos leading 30-16, with Hawaii’s Brandon Spearman having been called for an intentional foul and Arnold being assessed a technical foul.
Surprisingly the fan was able to not only rush onto the floor but also return to his seat before eventually being escorted from the gym and arrested. On Friday the school issued a statement on the matter, apologizing to the Hawaii athletic department for the incident.
On behalf of the UCSB student-athletes and staff we are disappointed and saddened by the singular act of a student during the first half of last night’s men’s basketball game versus Hawai’i. We have apologized to Hawai’i athletics director Ben Jay and Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. Head Coach Bob Williams also apologized to Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold on behalf of the department.
That’s just the first paragraph of the statement, in which UCSB also thanked the Hawaii players for properly diffusing the situation. Luckily nothing violent came of the incident, with the players deserving credit for their ability to step between the fan and their head coach.
But there are some questions that UCSB will need to address in regards to security, given the student’s ability to run onto the floor and leave without immediately being escorted from the premises. According to UCSB head coach Bob Williams the gym was being used as a storm shelter in the days prior to Thursday’s game, which may have contributed to the fact that there was a lack of security.