Arkansas staffer accused of throwing student journalist’s phone after loss to Texas A&M
The Arkansas Razorbacks were bounced from the SEC Tournament on Friday and head coach Eric Musselman, and his staff were not pleased.
Following a 67-61 loss to Texas A&M in the quarterfinals, an Arkansas staff member approached a student reporter who was filming Musselman’s departure from the floor and was accused of grabbing and throwing the phone to the ground.
Arkansas Razorbacks guard Nick Smith Jr. (3) reacts to a call during an SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Arkansas Razorbacks on March 10, 2023, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. (Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jack Weaver, a photojournalist and photo editor for the Kentucky Kernel, was filming Musselman when a staffer appeared to grab his phone.
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Weaver accused the staffer of throwing his phone to the ground.
Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman coaches during an SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Arkansas Razorbacks on March 10, 2023, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. (Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Kentucky Kernel, the student-run newspaper for the University of Kentucky, put out a statement condemning the actions of the Arkansas staff member.
“The Kentucky Kernel is appalled by the actions of the Arkansas mens basketball program,” the paper said on Twitter. “[Jack Weaver] always embodies professionalism on the job and no journalist, especially a student journalist, should be subjected to violence for simply doing their job.”
It was a frustrating loss for the Razorbacks, with Musselman needing to be restrained by his assistant multiple times during the game.
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Arkansas held a 40-27 lead in the second half before Texas A&M went on a 19-5 run to take the lead.
“For much of the game, we had a lead. I mean, we had a lead for 27 minutes or whatever,” Musselman said. “Obviously, we played a very good first half and a poor second half. I give Texas A&M credit for their second-half play.”
Andre Gordon #20 of the Texas A&M Aggies celebrates against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the quarterfinals of the 2023 SEC Basketball Tournament on March 10, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Musselman did not address the incident after the game.
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With the win, the Aggies advanced to the semifinals of the tournament against Vanderbilt, while Arkansas will have to see where they land in the NCAA Tournament.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.