EIU star disciplined ‘internally’ for swing at fan
10:07 PM ET
Myron MedcalfESPN Staff Writer
- Covers college basketball
- Joined ESPN.com in 2011
- Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato
The top scorer for the Eastern Illinois men’s basketball team will be disciplined “internally” after he tried to hit a fan in a loss Thursday, according to the school.
Late in the first half of Eastern Illinois’ 80-67 loss at Lindenwood, guard Kinyon Hodges walked up to a fan sitting in the front row at Hyland Arena and swung at his face. The fan and another man sitting next to him immediately pointed to a ref who stopped the game. Hodges was hit with a technical foul, but he was allowed to remain in the game.
It’s unclear from video of the incident what led up to it or if Hodges actually made contact with the fan.
Hodges, who averages a team-high 13.8 points per game, scored two in 24 minutes Thursday as Eastern Illinois suffered its eighth loss in nine games. The team is 7-17 under second-year coach Marty Simmons.
Per an Eastern Illinois statement Friday, Hodges let his “emotions get the best of him.”
“We are aware of the incident that occurred during the first half of our men’s basketball game at Lindenwood [Thursday],” EIU athletic director Tom Michael said in a statement. “As an athletic department, Eastern Illinois prides itself on good sportsmanship. We do not condone this type of behavior by our men’s basketball team or any of our 500 student-athletes.
“The issue has been addressed with both the player involved for EIU as well as the Ohio Valley Conference with any disciplinary action to be handled internally. The player in question understands that this is not the type of behavior displayed by our student-athletes or our men’s basketball program and in the heat of the moment let emotions get the best of him. This will be a learning moment moving forward and we apologize to anyone that may have been adversely impacted by the incident.”
Hodges is in his first year at Eastern Illinois after playing the last three seasons at Three Rivers, a junior college in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He joined a program that has achieved one winning season (2019-20) in the last nine years.
Simmons said Hodges is remorseful for his actions Thursday.
“I spoke with the young man this morning and he is extremely sorry for his actions at [Thursday’s] basketball game,” Simmons said in a statement. “This is not in the character of this young man. Even though he did not make physical contact with the fan, he understands the seriousness of this and regrets that his actions have negatively impacted the view of not only himself but the Eastern Illinois program.”