MVC rules no more punishment for SIU, SMS after scuffle

By Gus Bode

Tatum, four Bears available for future following ejections

There will be no further consequences for SIU’s Jamaal Tatum and the four Southwest Missouri State basketball players involved in a minor scuffle with one minute, 24 seconds remaining in the Salukis’ 61-60 victory Saturday at the SIU Arena.

The Missouri Valley Conference ruled the game officials reacted appropriately to the situation that stopped play for about five minutes while officials reviewed the film, eventually ejecting the five athletes.

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“After extensive review of videotape of the game, it was very clear that both SMS’ Treyvor Fisher and [Tatum] share equal responsibility for the incident that took place,” said MVC commissioner Doug Elgin in a release.

“The game officials likewise had the luxury of reviewing the game tape of the incident from several different angles, and their application of NCAA rules were both proper and appropriate.”

After a Brooks lay in rolled off the rim, Fisher dove for the loose ball, grabbed possession and called a timeout in front of the Saluki bench. With both players contending for possession, emotions flared when Fisher stood up into Tatum.

Minor shoving ensued before players, officials and coaches stepped in to subdue the situation. Along with Fisher, SMS’ Tyler Chaney, Jeremy Nicholson and Blake Ahearn were ejected for leaving the bench in accordance with NCAA rules, a decision by the referees that irked SMS head coach Barry Hinson.

“They were coming off the bench for a timeout,” Hinson said Saturday, just after saying he’d better keep his mouth shut because he can’t afford a fine.

SIU head coach Chris Lowery said Saturday he was relieved the scuffle didn’t escalate into the situation seen in Detroit two months ago in the NBA when Indiana Pacers’ guard Ron Artest was suspended the entire season for fighting in the stands.

“Of course there’s emotions riding high, but nothing came from it,” Lowery said. “Nobody’s suspended the next game.”

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SMS faces Northern Iowa tonight, and the Salukis are back in action Wednesday against Bradley at the SIU Arena.

Reporter Adam Soebbing can be reached at [email protected]

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