Miami coach Jim Larranaga apologized to N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried after a fan seated courtside pushed N.C. State player Cat Barber near the end of Thursday’s ACC basketball game.
But Gottfried wasn’t interested in making a big deal about the incident.
“You know, it’s unfortunate,” Gottfried said. “I don’t think it was really a hard shove. Certainly you don’t want fans putting their hands on players, that should never happen anywhere. We’ll move on from it.”
Barber fouled Miami guard Angel Rodriguez with 21 seconds left in Miami’s 65-60 win. Barber got tangled up with Rodriguez on the sideline opposite from N.C. State’s bench. The setup at BankUnited Center has seats on that sideline for fans. One unidentified fan reached out and pushed Barber.
After the game, Barber said he was pushed and then told the fan not to touch him but that was the extent of the incident.
“We’re obviously glad nothing escalated,” Gottfried said.
Gottfried said he didn’t see the incident as it happened. His daughter, Mary Layson, showed him a video of what happened on her phone before Gottfried walked into the post-game press conference.
Larranaga apologized after his post-game remarks outside the media room to Gottfried. Gottfried told the Miami coach not to worry about it.
“It was a love tap,” Gottfried joked.
Miami athletic director Blake James also apologized to Gottfried and N.C. State AD Debbie Yow for the incident, according to the Associated Press.