Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings will not be suspended by the school for the incident that occurred Thursday night following the Commodores’ 73-65 road win against Tennessee, according to a statement from the school.
After the win, Vanderbilt freshman Wade Baldwin mockingly clapped in the face of Tennessee players, which prompted an assistant to let Stallings know what was happening. Stallings then teed off on Baldwin, saying he would “kill” the player.
The school’s athletic director David Williams released a statement on Friday, saying the matter will be handled “internally.”
I met with Coach Stallings earlier today about last night’s post-game incident. We agreed that Kevin’s offensive and inflammatory language directed toward a student-athlete was inappropriate, regardless of the high emotions at the time. Coach Stallings and I agree that as head coach, he must exemplify the high code of conduct he expects from his team members. This is an unfortunate incident since Coach Stallings has always stood for high ideals in academics, character and sportsmanship during his 16 years as our head coach.
I understand that coach’s action has generated discussion and opinions; we have heard from those supporting the coach’s intent and from those angered and embarrassed by his comment. Coach Stallings apologized to the student-athlete after the game as well as issuing an immediate public apology. Vanderbilt considers this a personnel issue and as such it will be handled internally.
Here’s the statement from Stallings last night apologizing for the incident, as Williams alluded to above:
“After the game, an incident occurred in which I need to apologize for. One of our players acted inappropriately and violated what we believe is good sportsmanship following the game. In my haste to resolve the situation, I made a very inappropriate comment. While obviously it was not meant literally, it was still inappropriate. I apologized to the player immediately following the game, although displaying good sportsmanship is of the highest priority in our program.”
If you’re interested in hearing more discussion regarding the incident, Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander and I talked about it on the Eye on College Basketball podcast this morning.