NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- Old Dominion University slapped basketball coach Tom Young with a six-day suspension yesterday for confronting an opposing player after the Monarchs' Sun Belt Conference loss at Western Kentucky.
"The university cannot and will not tolerate this action," Old Dominion athletic director Jim Jarrett said in a statement released last night.
Jarrett said Young, whose team blew a nine-point halftime lead in Thursday night's 77-74 loss, is barred from associating with his players from today through Thursday. Young will miss the Monarchs' games today against North Carolina-Charlotte and Thursday against South Alabama.
"I sincerely regret my actions following the Western Kentucky-ODU basketball game," Young said in a statement released by Old Dominion. "I realize that my actions precipitated an incident that is extremely embarrassing to the university, its students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans."
"As a leader of the basketball program, I must place myself above reactive behavior of this type," said Young. "I apologize to the university and assure you that behavior of this type will not be repeated."
Young, a University of Maryland graduate, has a 517-320 record 31 years as a college coach, including an 83-79 mark in six seasons at Old Dominion. In 12 years at Rutgers, he compiled a 239-116 record and took the Scarlet Knights to four National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments. He ranks as the 10th-winningest active coach in Division I.
Old Dominion refused to elaborate on the incident, but The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star newspapers of Norfolk, which covered the game at Bowling Green, Ky., provided the following account:
Young, whose team turned the ball over 15 times in the second half, appeared to grow increasingly frustrated with the officials.
He became particularly incensed with 11 seconds left, when Old Dominion's Al Grant was called for a foul while he and several other players were scrambling for a loose ball. The foul occurred near Old Dominion's basket after the Monarchs, trailing, 75-74, missed three chances at a go-ahead basket.
After the game was over and the teams and officials were leaving the court, Young was yelling at referee Rusty Herring when Western Kentucky's Jack Jennings, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound
forward, bumped Young from behind.
Young ran after Jennings, and the two ended up in Western Kentucky's dressing room, as did Old Dominion players Chris Gatling and Keith Jackson. Shouts were exchanged, but no one could confirm that punches were thrown.
The loss was the Monarchs' fourth in five conference games and dropped them to 7-10 overall.
Jarrett said Old Dominion has apologized to Western Kentucky officials, "and every precaution will be taken to see that it does not happen again."
Assistant coaches Rick Weber and Stan Nance will take over in Young's absence.