Junior guard Aubrey Coleman
Jan. 25, 2009
HOUSTON - A day after being ejected at Arizona, University of Houston junior guard Aubrey Coleman apologized for his role in an on-court confrontation Saturday afternoon.
"I want to apologize to Chase Budinger for what happened Saturday night. I never meant to step on him," Coleman said. "I have never been in an incident like this before, and I have nothing but respect for him as a great player.
"I love the game too much to do something like that intentionally. I want to say I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. I know that God knows what is in my heart, but I am hopeful that Chase will understand and forgive."
With 9:51 remaining in the game, Coleman collided with Budinger near mid-court and was immediately called for a charge. After a brief confrontation with Budinger, Coleman was whistled for a flagrant foul and ejected from the game after officials reviewed video of the incident.
Coleman entered Saturday's game as the Cougars' second leading scorer and rebounder with 18.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Following the game, Coleman returned to the team hotel and wrote a letter of apology to Budinger.
Like his player, head coach Tom Penders said he regretted the incident but felt confident Coleman did not intentionally step on Budinger.
"Aubrey is one of the finest kids, both on the floor and off the floor, that I have had the privilege to coach," Penders said. "I know that he regrets the situation, but he is an exemplary student-athlete in all ways, shapes and forms."
Penders said he and his staff would work with director of athletics Dave Maggard and Athletics Department administrators to further review the incident carefully.
The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m., Wednesday, when they play host to Conference USA rival UTEP inside Hofheinz Pavilion.