The Mountain West does it again with a slap on the wrist and forcing the guilty party to offer up a phony apology for their deed. New Mexico head coach Steve Alford and BYU's Jonathan Tavernari exchanged calling each other names, but the head coach was caught on tape calling swearing at Tavernari. Alford initially stated there was no need for any punishment from this because of the emotional state of the situation:
"It happened in a competitive nature," Alford said of the incident, which occurred during the teams' post-game handshake. "I don't think there's any harm done."
"That's why they give players and coaches a 10-minute cool down before you address the media," Alford said. "It's because of emotions like this. In the handshake line, you don't get that. Everybody is still fired up about things."
After the game Tavernari went to the Lobo locker room to apologize to Alford.
However, the Mountain West forced Alford to publicly reprimanded for his words:
University of New Mexico Men’s Basketball Head Coach Steve Alford has been issued a public reprimand for his unduly provocative language toward an opposing student-athlete following the February 27, 2010 New Mexico at BYU men’s basketball contest. Coach Alford’s action was in violation of MWC Sportsmanship Rule 4.4.3.
What should also be noted was the actions of a New Mexico assistant coach -- you know the adult -- said this:
"What are you going to do about it?" New Mexico assistant coach Wyking Jones asked Tavernari several times as they walked in the same direction as Alford, with players shaking hands between them.
"I'm going to tell you real clear ... You're an [expletive]," Alford then yelled at Tavernari.
"I apologized for my end of things that I had to be involved with," Alford said. "It was the heat of the moment, and we’re fierce competitors.
The brouhaha over this encounter was when less then a minute left tempers flared between Tavernari and New Mexico's Darington Hobson after the two bumped into each other. Then when Hobson called a timeout he extended his elbows toward Tavernari and that caused the fuss from Tavernari.