Big 12 'reprimands' WVU hoops' Harris for punching fan

By Alex Butler  |  Updated Jan. 15, 2018 at 3:11 PM
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Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Big 12 conference reprimanded West Virginia forward Wes Harris and Texas Tech University for multiple infractions Monday.

Harris was seen throwing a punch at a fan after Texas Tech's 72-71 win against the Mountaineers on Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas. The fans were in his vicinity because they rushed the court after the upset.

The West Virginia University athletic department and the Big 12 investigated the sequence before coming to a decision.

"In accordance with the Big 12 Conference Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship, the Conference has issued a public reprimand and $25,000 fine of Texas Tech University for its handling of postgame protocol at the conclusion of the men's basketball contest against West Virginia University on Saturday, January 13," the Big 12 said in a statement.

"We have a duty to provide a safe game environment," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby added.

"The Texas Tech Department of Athletics has a written event management policy which was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of the visiting team game participants. Although the Big 12 Conference does not currently have a policy prohibiting spectators from entering playing areas for post-game celebrations, it is of utmost importance that home game management provide adequate security measures for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators."

WVU athletic director Shane Lyons also issued a statement Monday.

"I want to thank the Big 12 Conference and Texas Tech for the positive and open dialogue all three parties engaged in during the last two days," Lyons said, according to "As I said before, this situation involved court security, player safety and postgame emotions and all three had to be taken into account. We will revisit with our student-athletes to again reinforce our expectations regarding sportsmanship issues across all sports. The Big 12 has issued its reprimand. We accept it, and I consider the matter closed."

The Mountaineers host the Kansas Jayhawks at 9 p.m. Monday at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W.V.

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