Bo Ryan Says ‘Deal With It’
By Brandon Castel
Jared Sullinger left with more than a loss during Ohio State’s trip to Madison over the weekend. As he was walking off the court following the Buckeyes first defeat of the season, Sullinger was given one final parting gift from Wisconsin fans.
“He got spit on when the students stormed the court. A student ran by him and spit on him,” OSU Head Coach Thad Matta said during Monday’s Big Ten teleconference.
“Nothing too major. What are you going to do? Those things happen. It was a crazy environment, which was great for college basketball, for their fans and that sort of stuff.”
Sullinger scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough for Ohio State to overcome an incredible late-game surge by Jordan Taylor and the Badgers. The fans stormed the court at the Kohl Center following their 71-67 victory, which lead to this Tweet from Sullinger after the game.
“BuckeyeNation, if you ever decide to rush the court, don’t ever spit on the opponents,” the OSU freshman posted on his personal Twitter account.
“To be spit on is just nasty. On top of that, in my face, before and after the game. (Shaking My Head). I just kept walking. More fuel to the fire.”
Ohio State has since contacted University of Wisconsin officials, who said they are looking into the incident. The Kohl Center does have security cameras, but nothing had been brought to Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan by Monday.
“There's absolutely nothing that has come to my attention,” Ryan said during Monday’s teleconference.
“All I know is we won the game, deal with it.”
That’s easy for Ryan to say. His team did win the game and none of his players had spit in their face.
Like many intense fan bases, Wisconsin has had its fare share of complaints over the years. It’s usually a select few who ruin the reputation of the group, but in Ryan’s mind, it was just an intense college basketball environment.
“Our end, their end, it was well-played by two teams,” he said Monday.
“You hear a lot about how the teams went after each other and it was great for the Big Ten, and our fans were absolutely fantastic. What a great day for our students.”
It was the second time a Wisconsin team has upset a No. 1-ranked OSU quad in the past four months. Fans also stormed the field at Camp Randall Stadium after their win over the Buckeyes in football back in October.
As of now, there is no evidence to back up Sullinger’s claim that fans spit in his face before and after the game in Madison, but there also isn’t much reason for him to lie about the incident. Either way, it’s something Ohio State will have to move on from, just like the loss itself.
“You don't want stuff like that to happen, but you can't do anything about it,” Matta said.
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