Jan. 26, 2009
HOUSTON - University of Houston junior guard Aubrey Coleman was suspended one game by Conference USA officials Monday evening for violating the league's Sportsmanship Policy during the Cougars' game at Arizona on Saturday.
Coleman will sit out the Cougars' game against C-USA rival UTEP, scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
"During his career at UH, Aubrey has never been involved in an incident that could question his respect for this game," director of athletics Dave Maggard said. "He has apologized to Chase Budinger for what occurred, and Conference USA officials have taken action regarding this matter."
"The University of Houston has always and will continue to uphold the highest levels of sportsmanship in every respect. We apologize to the University of Arizona, its basketball team and to the Tucson community for what occurred Saturday evening. Aubrey will be suspended for Wednesday night's game, and we now consider the matter to be closed."
With 9:51 remaining in the game, Coleman collided with Arizona junior forward Chase 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.
According to conference policy, instances of flagrant misconduct require suspension.
Less than a day later, Coleman apologized for his role in the confrontation during a press conference with head coach Tom Penders.
"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."
Coleman will be eligible to return for the Cougars' game Saturday at No. 18/19 Memphis.