MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby reprimanded West Virginia women’s basketball assistant Lester Rowe for his role Sunday in an altercation following the Mountaineers’ 59-56 victory at Hawaii.
WVU athletics director Oliver Luck supported Bowslby’s reprimand and said any disciplinary measures against Rowe “will be handled internally.”
After West Virginia’s victory clinched the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, a fan came to the WVU bench and the ensuing fracas saw Hawaii athletics director Ben Jay struck in the back. Jay subsequently went to the emergency room where a CT scan revealed “transverse process fractures” in his lumbar region and bleeding around one of his kidneys, according to a University of Hawaii news release.
“It was an unfortunate situation that occurred on Sunday prior to the trophy ceremony at the conclusion of the tournament at the University of Hawaii,” Luck said. “The incident has been reviewed by the appropriate individuals and I consider the matter closed.”
Thursday’s reprimand from the Big 12 Conference:
The Big 12 Conference announced a public reprimand of West Virginia University assistant women’s basketball coach Lester Rowe for his post-game conduct during Sunday’s contest at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa. His actions were in violation of the Big 12 Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct rules.
“Coach Rowe violated Conference rules that prohibit coaches, student-athletes, athletic department staff and university personnel from committing abusive acts toward an opponent’s fans,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Coaches have the responsibility to refrain from behavior that incites negative fan conduct. Coach Rowe is also put on notice that future incidents may result in a more serious penalty.”
Rowe was a two-time WVU team captain who helped the Mountaineers to a pair of Atlantic 10 titles in 1983 and 1984. He served as an assistant on the men’s staff of Gale Catlett from 1997-2002 and was hired by women’s coach Mike Carey in 2011.