UW Men's Basketball
Bennett apologizes for gesture
Washington State coach Dick Bennett publicly apologized yesterday for making an obscene gesture toward the Washington student section.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington State coach Dick Bennett publicly apologized yesterday for making an obscene gesture toward the Washington student section during Sunday's men's basketball game at Edmundson Pavilion, a contest the Huskies won 66-48.
Bennett briefly gave the middle finger to the student section, which was raucous throughout the game with coordinated chants directed at the Cougars.
Bennett's statement yesterday said that "during the first half of the Washington game, I mistakenly made a gesture to the Washington student section. I apologized to the students going to and coming from the locker room at halftime. I wish I hadn't done it and I am sorry for it."
WSU athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement that he and Bennett had talked about the incident and "Dick was very apologetic. He said the response was not indicative of what he stood for and hoped it would not be a poor reflection on WSU and his team."
Sterk also said "this issue points out, however, we need to work harder to provide an atmosphere of sportsmanship so class gentlemen like Dick Bennett are not pushed to the point of reaction."
A UW spokesman said the school didn't plan to pursue the issue further.
"We appreciate students being a vocal part of the game, but at the same time we don't condone any conduct that we feel crosses the line of good sportsmanship," said Jim Daves, UW sports-information director.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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