The Mountain West Conference suspended New Mexico’s Joe Furstinger for one game and Boise State’s Justinian Jessup was issued a public reprimand for their actions after Boise State’s 73-71 win at New Mexico on Tuesday night.
Furstinger, who violated the conference’s sportsmanship rule, will serve his suspension on Saturday for the Lobos’ game at Air Force.
“The student-athletes and support personnel from both institutions have been admonished with regard to their leaving the bench area to participate in the altercation. This action could have resulted in a much more serious incident,” the Mountain West said in a release. “The game officials correctly determined that time had expired and were thus unable to employ applicable NCAA playing rules. However, those individuals beyond the permitted head coach and one assistant coach who came out on the court during the altercation could have been ejected from the game had time remained and would have been subject to potential suspension had they participated in a situation defined as a fight.”
Chaos erupted after the Lobos missed a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds. Furstinger came in late trying to foul Boise State’s Marcus Dickinson, knocking him to the ground with a high hit after Dickinson had pulled down a rebound.
Jessup then pushed Furstinger away from Dickinson as members of both teams rushed into the melee.
New Mexico coach Paul Weir apologized to Boise State, fans and the Mountain West after the game.
“I didn’t see everything that happened, but just completely unacceptable behavior,” Weir said. “I am sick about it, as sick as I am about the game, and that’s really not how a game like this should end. ... I don’t know where that behavior came from.”
Boise State coach Leon Rice told the Albuquerque Journal that he was spit on after the game, but he didn’t know who did it.
“I don’t know what happened, but I just saw one of their guys, I think he was just trying to foul and it was probably too excessive,” Rice said Tuesday night. “I don’t think he meant it to be, and then chaos ensued, but I don’t think any person threw a punch or anything.”
The conference commended Rice and Weir for diffusing the situation, and expressed appreciation for Weir’s postgame comments.