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Texas Tech Hoops | WVU Player Apologizes

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It took a couple of days... but, Brandon Watkins the WVU player that "flipped-off" Red Raiders with a crude hand gesture made an apology in a statement released Tuesday by the university.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

I fumbled the opportunity Seth gave me to write a post-game write-up on Saturday to recap the WVU vs Tech match. I was planning on writing it Saturday, then a skirmish in the 1st half happened after a hard foul against Rob Turner. I watched the same replay that the refs saw while they were figuring out what happened and what penalties to hand out.

Turner was fouled hard, but that's just part of the game... what the West Virginia player (Brandon Watkins) did right after the hack was what set everything off. He gave a few Red Raiders players a quick, but blatant, double-bird flick-off with both middle fingers. Norense Odiase took this as a clear violation of disrespect and started jawing with him.

Take a look for yourself if you haven't seen it already... (click here for the zoomed in version).

I'm all for trash talking in sports, and even if a few blows are thrown that are not sucker punches against guys in a competitive sport... shit happens. But, I was irate when the refs came back from their review and ejected Odiase and gave Watkins just a personal foul. I came unglued and was steaming that Watkins wasn't hit with at least a technical foul.

After the game I took a few steps back, and had a few too many beverages for the rest of the day. Even when I woke up on Sunday, I couldn't let it go so I decided instead of writing a post-game recap and saying nasty things... I was going to walk away from the keyboard for a few days.

Today is the first time I woke up and searched for Texas Tech basketball articles since Saturday afternoon. I thankfully have centered my energy to thinking positive thoughts about college basketball again. Searching the news I stumbled across an article in The Dallas Morning News, WVU player apologizes for obscene gestures he made against Texas Tech. It had the following written...

West Virginia forward Brandon Watkins has issued an apology to Texas Tech and coach Tubby Smith for an obscene gesture.

Watkins made the apology in a statement released Tuesday by the university.

The sophomore made the gesture in the first half of the 15th-ranked Mountaineers' 77-58 win over the Red Raiders on Saturday.

After fouling Texas Tech's Robert Turner on a layup attempt, Watkins raised the middle fingers of both hands while on his back behind the basket. A brief skirmish ensued and Texas Tech center Norense Odiase was ejected. Watkins wasn't penalized further.

Watkins says he understands the gesture was an embarrassment to his family, his team, fans and Texas Tech. He says he's sorry for his actions.

While I am glad that WVU made Watkins formally apologize on behalf of their universiy, I still wonder. Is any type of punishment going to come out of it? I have to believe if this was a Tech player Tubby Smith would be doing a lot more than just making him submit a statement of regret. But, that's where I'll stop and let it go.

Let's keep our heads held high and hope for a great game against K-State tonight. There's always a chance we'll get to face WVU again in the Big 12 conference tournament. Besides, winning on the court makes more of a statement than anything else. Wreck 'em Tech!