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Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin apologizes, sanctioned for actions on bench


MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin has issued an apology for his conduct last Thursday evening in a Big Sky Conference game at Northern Arizona.

A radio station personality in Flagstaff, Arizona, shared a video on Facebook of the game feed showing Verlin in a verbal confrontation with assistant coach Chris Helbling in the first half. Verlin was seen yelling, pointing and stomping his feet at the assistant coach before grabbing the playbook out of Helbling’s hands and throwing it behind the bench.

Helbling was then apparently ejected from the bench by Verlin and is believed to have had to ride to Cedar City, Utah, for Saturday’s game at Southern Utah with the radio play-by-play broadcaster instead of on the team bus.

He was present on the bench when Idaho faced Southern Utah.

“My actions during the game at Northern Arizona were inappropriate. I apologize to the University of Idaho and our loyal fans. I can assure everyone, this type of behavior will not occur in the future,” Verlin said in the statement.

The university will fine Verlin $5,000 to go to a charity of his choosing. In addition, the seventh-year Vandals coach will also have to attend a leadership development class.

“The actions demonstrated by Coach Verlin during the Northern Arizona basketball game clearly violated the standards expected by coaches at the University of Idaho,” athletic director Rob Spear said in the statement.

Helbling will be reprimanded in accordance to athletic department policy, the statement said, but it’s still unclear what he’s being reprimanded for or what the altercation during the game was about.

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