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Gonzaga Basketball

Email to Gonzaga students addresses ‘inappropriate behavior’ from end of Saint Mary’s game

Gonzaga Bulldogs fans throw trash and towels as they react to a call late during the second half of a college basketball game against the St. Mary's Gaels on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga lost the game 64-62.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

An email sent from Gonzaga’s administration to the student body Monday condemned “numerous incidents of inappropriate behavior” that occurred before, during and after Saturday’s West Coast Conference basketball game against Saint Mary’s at McCarthey Athletic Center.

Multiple students occupying seats in the “Kennel Club” section of Gonzaga’s home arena threw various items onto the court in protest of officiating decisions made in the final minute of a 64-62 loss to the Gaels. Objects tossed onto the court included white rally towels that were handed out before the game, plastic cups and bottles, and other items.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few walked across the court to address the Kennel Club and was seen on the national ESPN broadcast signaling to students to “knock it off.”

“We’ve got people throwing stuff onto the floor and this is going to result in a technical,” ESPN broadcaster Sean Farnham said. “We’ve had drinks thrown over the top of us. They’re still throwing, even though they’ve been told to stop. I am really surprised at the sheer amount of what’s being thrown onto the floor. There’s a lot of wet spots.”

According to the email, “those who acted out through verbal abuse or by throwing items or substances onto the court will be held accountable.”

As Saint Mary’s players took the floor for pregame warmups, the Gaels were greeted by a profane chant, “(Expletive) Saint Mary’s,” from Gonzaga students. The chant was repeated at other points during Saturday’s basketball game.

“Unfortunately – and in a major departure from the conventional experience – numerous incidents of inappropriate behavior on the part of some students on Saturday were observed by attendees and noted by sports commentators on national television,” the email read. “Expressions of profanity towards the opposing team and throwing of material and liquids onto the court impacted play and reflected a student community wholly atypical and unbecoming of our university.”

Officials chose not to assess a technical foul on Gonzaga’s crowd, and it’s unclear if the reaction will garner a fine from the West Coast Conference.