A Memphis basketball player has been charged by Bowling Green campus police with assault after punching a Falcons player in the handshake line following a Women’s NIT game, according to the Bowling Green athletic department.
The confrontation followed Bowling Green’s win over Memphis on Thursday night.
As the teams walked toward center court following Bowling Green’s 73-60 win in the Round of 16 game, Memphis’ Jamirah Shutes stopped to talk with Falcons’ player Elissa Brett. After a short conversation, Shutes appears to throw a punch at Brett’s face. Brett fell toward the scorer’s table and onto the sideline.
Video of the incident showed Shutes’ teammate quickly grabbing her and escorting her off the court while Brett’s teammates checked on her.
There was no immediate word about what caused the confrontation or if any player was seriously injured.
Bowling Green said in a statement that the incident is in the hands of the campus police.
“The incident that took place following tonight’s home WNIT game has been turned over to the BGSU Police Department,” the school said. “Bowling Green State University Athletics does not make comments about active police investigations. Our priority is with the health, safety and support of our student-athletes.”
Bowling Green coach Robyn Fralich didn’t directly comment on the incident after the game, saying only that they were “figuring all those things out,” as far as what happened in the handshake line.
Memphis’ athletics department said Friday that the incident was “extremely unfortunate and certainly not consistent with, or representative of, our expectations for our programs and student-athletes.”
“Because the incident occurred after the game, jurisdiction falls in the hands of local authorities, and we are cooperating fully with their process,” the statement said. “To be respectful of that process, we will not comment further until it is complete.”
The Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper reported that Shutes, who leads the Tigers in scoring, took an elbow to her face with 24 seconds left in the opening quarter and played just eight minutes in the first half. She returned to start the second half.
Shutes, a fifth-year player who finished with 13 points in her final game with the Tigers, was a second-team All-AAC selection this season.
Brett scored 15 points, including 13 in the third quarter, in the win.
Bowling Green will next play Florida on Monday in the WNIT Great 8.