Arkansas bowed out of the SEC Tournament in the quarterfinals this week, losing to the league’s No. 2 seed, Texas A&M, after blowing a big first half lead. However, the real fireworks occurred after the game, where a member of the Razorback staff confronted a student journalist from the University of Kentucky whilst he was filming Eric Musselman walk off the court.
As Arkansas stampeded off the floor following the loss, Musselman reportedly serenaded Bridgestone Arena with f-bombs and various other foul phrases before disappearing into the tunnel. While Musselman hooped and hollered on his way to the locker room, Kentucky journalism student Jack Weaver (of the student-run paper the Kentucky Kernel) videoed his walk back but was abruptly stopped when the Arkansas staff member, Riley Hall, grabbed Jack’s phone and threw it on the ground to prevent any further taping of Musselman’s tantrum.
Well, Jack obviously caught that little snafu on camera and uploaded the short clip of Hall taking and throwing his phone onto Twitter. You can see that video right here:
Once that tweet went viral, Arkansas came under fire for having a representative of the university act in such an inappropriate manner towards a student journalist.
Arkansas AD releases statement
The next day, Saturday, Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek released a statement regarding the situation. You can read said statement right here:
“I have visited with Riley Hall, a member of our men’s basketball support staff, and other who personally observed an interaction between Mr. Hall and a reporter following our game Friday night at the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament. During our conversation, Mr. Hall expressed his regret that while leaving the floor his engagement inadvertently resulted in knocking the reporter’s cell phone from his hand. While, based on our discussion, I do not believe there was malicious intent, I have addressed the issues with Mr. Hall and he agrees his actions were not appropriate or reflective of our program. I want to offer an apology to the reporter impacted by these actions.”
So, Yurachek says Hall knocking the phone out of Jack’s hand was inadvertent, even though the video seems to show Hall storming right up to Jack because he was filming Musselman.
Either way, it was a small issue that Arkansas is putting behind them. Per the AD, the action was inappropriate and the school apologizes, but they’re not going to fire Hall or anything crazy.