Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re re-posting it here in case you missed it.
The college basketball season is just days old, but we already have the early frontrunner for dirtiest play of the year.
And we hope and pray that no one else tops it.
Fitchburg State was playing Nichols College in a Division III game between Massachusetts rivals Tuesday night. Kewan Platt of Fitchburg was upset at a non-call earlier in the game and decided to take out his frustration on Nate Tenaglia of Nichols.
After Tenaglia shot a 3-pointer, Platt ran up to him and blatantly delivered an elbow to Tenaglia’s face, sending him crumpling backward to the floor.
There was no question about the intent of Platt’s actions, and you can see that by what he did right after the jump shot was taken.
Platt looked to his right while running toward Tenaglia to make sure the referee’s eyes were following the ball rather than Tenaglia. Once he saw that the ref wasn’t watching him, he bashed Tenaglia in the face.
As for what set off Platt to do this, it was apparently a run-of-the-mill missed foul call on the other end.
Platt thought he was fouled by Tenaglia on a 3-point attempt, and video showed him complaining to the referee just seconds before his hit on Tenaglia.
Also, some context: The Fitchburg State player was pissed about a no-call at the other end. Bottom right corner. pic.twitter.com/rXNEvoKkwW
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) November 14, 2018
Fortunately, there was another ref who did see Platt’s cheap shot, and he immediately ejected Platt from the game.
Fitchburg State is taking things a bit further. Platt has been suspended from the team and barred from campus, per The Boston Herald. Additionally, the campus police department opened an investigation into Platt’s actions.
The commissioner of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference said she was appalled by what she witnessed in the video, and MASCAC has vacated a Player of the Week award Platt received earlier.
“His behavior goes against the MASCAC’s mission which includes good sportsmanship,” Angela Baumann said. “On behalf of the MASCAC and Fitchburg State, we have apologized to the Nichols College student-athlete, the team and institution.”
He should be in jail !
— ken masterson (@pcr1125) November 15, 2018
After a few moments on the court, Tenaglia got back up to his feet and appeared to be OK.
On Thursday, he joked about all of the attention he’s getting in a reply on Twitter.
?? it’s crazy
— Nate Tenaglia (@tenaglia_4) November 15, 2018
Nichols also got the last laugh in the game, beating Fitchburg 84-75. Despite the ejection, Platt led his team with 16 points.
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