Wednesday , August 10 2022

NEC launching investigation into fight between fans in Wagner-Bryant men’s basketball game; one person arrested

The Northeast Conference said Wednesday that it is launching an investigation into a fight between fans in the stands that marred the ending of the WagnerBryant tournament final in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and led to one arrest.

In a statement Wednesday, NEC commissioner Noreen Morris said she was “disgusted” by what transpired a night earlier.

“Athletic competition should bring out the best in us. Sadly, we didn’t see that last night,” Morris said.

“We will conduct a thorough investigation of last night’s incredibly disappointing events and begin an immediate review of our game management policies to address this type of unruly and disrespectful fan behavior.”

The game was hosted by Bryant, which secured its first trip to the Division I NCAA men’s basketball tournament by trouncing Wagner 70-43.

Before the Bulldogs secured the win, however, the game was delayed for about 30 minutes with 4:37 remaining in the second half after a fight between fans behind the Wagner bench erupted. A small section of seats mostly occupied by Wagner fans sat next to Bryant’s student’s section, and the contentious atmosphere led to a scuffle that spurred local and state police onto the court.

None of the players or coaches made it into the stands, although Wagner guard Will Martinez attempted to and was ejected from the game. Several other players had to be restrained.

Officials still opted to continue the game with Bryant up 68-32 at the time of the stoppage.

According to The Providence Journal, Rhode Island State Police said Wednesday that Connor Gleim of Massachusetts was arrested and faces charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer in execution of duty.

It was the first NEC title for Bryant, which became postseason-eligible in 2012-13 after transitioning to Division I.


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