The Big 12 isn't happy with Chris Beard for his behavior at the end of No. 7 Texas Tech’s loss to No. 14 West Virginia on Tuesday.
The conference, however, declined to fine the Red Raiders coach.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby issued a formal public reprimand to Beard on Thursday after he was ejected in the final minute of their 82-71 loss to the Mountaineers following an epic tantrum.
“Coach Beard’s conduct was inconsistent with sportsmanship expectations in the Big 12 Conference,” Bowlsby said in a statement. “He is being issued a public reprimand, and put on notice that any future sportsmanship violations may lead to a more severe penalty.”
Chris Beard’s wild tantrum, ejection
Beard, with less than 30 seconds left in the loss at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, went off on the officiating after a West Virginia player dove for a ball and called a timeout.
During his freakout, Beard started screaming at officials and sat down on the floor and mimicked the Mountaineers player who called a timeout. After earning a technical foul, Beard actually took a break to give a fist bump to West Virginia coach Bob Huggins before continuing.
The incident was truly one of the most entertaining ejections in recent memory.
Chris Beard just picked up one of the best ejections I've ever seen, even stopped yelling at the refs to fist bump Bob Huggins pic.twitter.com/Mz13Wv1hQG
— CJ Fogler Ol' Steroid Ass #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) February 10, 2021
Beard said after the game that his actions were in an effort to defend his players.
"I just thought that from a coaching standpoint, you gotta fight for your players," Beard said. "Obviously college basketball, you guys know the drill, Big 12 policy and all that, but I would just say from my point of view, the West Virginia player was calling for a timeout on the floor. I could see it and hear it where I was standing. It's still a two-possession game at that point. If that call is made, then we've got a chance to set up our press and still have a chance to play the game. That call sent a 90% free-throw shooter to the line, and it's gonna separate the game to a three-possession game."
Texas Tech AD defends Beard
Though Bowlsby wasn’t happy with Beard, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt doesn’t think the coach violated any sportsmanship policies during the game.
Hocutt, in a letter to Bowlsby on Thursday obtained by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, stood by Beard.
“Chris Beard exemplifies sportsmanship on the court and towards the officials,” Hocutt wrote, in part. “Not only does he live it, but he also talks about it with the team frequently. In his nearly five years in the Big 12, he has not received one technical foul until this last game. He speaks to the team and reminds them about the importance of showing sportsmanship not only on the court but also through their communication.
“We take pride in the fact that as a team we have a very low number of technical fouls. Since Chris has been here, we have never had more than three player technical fouls in any given season. … I respectfully will state that it is our position that we have not violated the Other Misconduct policy of the Conference.”
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