The Big 12 Conference has issued a public reprimand for Wesley Harris of West Virginia, which hit a Texas Tech fan during a violent storm on Saturday after the Red Raiders' victory over the Mountaineers.
The league also announced a public reprimand from Texas Tech University and a $ 25,000 fine against the school on Monday.
Grainy videos circulating on social networks after the game showed a West Virginia player beating a fan during the storm that followed the Texas Tech victory 72-71 on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
How hard is Big 12 this season? The top of the league includes four Final Four threats. So, no game is easy, especially on the road. Kansas will discover it on Monday in West Virginia.
In a couple of statements on Monday, the league denounced Harris' actions, officially identified by the 12 majors, and exclaimed to Texas Tech for not assuring the word after the game.
"We must ensure that a safe environment is provided for players, coaches, game officials and fans," said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby in the Harris statement. "Although the post-game environment did not meet our expectations, Mr. Harris intentionally hitting an admirer is contrary to the Conference's standards of fair play."
The Big 12 announced a new policy in 2015, after a fan ran into Kansas player Jamari Traylor after a defeat at his rival Kansas State – to create a safer environment for opposing players and staff during the storms on the track. Bowlsby said then that the new policy would give him broad powers to punish schools that did not protect players and coaches during storms.
The more severe cases, he said, could lead to fines and even the loss of future games at home.
"We have a duty to provide a safe gaming environment," Bowlsby said of Texas Tech in a separate statement. "The Texas Tech Athletics Department has a written event management policy that was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety of the visiting team's game participants, although the Big 12 Conference currently does not have a policy that prohibits spectators from entering. After game play areas, it is very important that the game administration at home provide adequate security measures for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators. "
This is not the first time that Texas Tech connects to a fan-player incident. In February 2014, then-Oklahoma star Marcus Smart was suspended three games after he pushed a fan during a game at Texas Tech. Smart had initially claimed that the fan, Jeff Orr, used a racial epithet, but one Later research proved otherwise.
Orr admitted, however, called Smart "a shit" and accepted that he would not attend any Texas Tech game that season.