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Hawaii’s head coach Gib Arnold confronted by angry UCSB fan

An angry University of California-Santa Barbara fan ran out onto the court during a stoppage of play and confronted University of Hawaii’s coaches and players on March 6. UCSB won the Big West game (86-77), which aired on ESPNU.

The fan, who is believed to be a USCB Student wore a royal blue UCSB Class of 2014 T-shirt, was quickly apprehended by campus police and ushered off the court.

"It was a little crazy to have a fan pushing your players around," Hawaii's head coach Gib Arnold said. "I've never seen it. You don't expect it.”

The incident began after Hawaii guard Brandon Spearman was called for an intentional foul with 6:02 left in the first half and UCSB up 30-16. Arnold was slapped with a technical foul for arguing with the officials.

As Arnold and assistant was coming on the court following the technical, the fan ran up and took an aggressive stance in Arnold's face.

A couple of Warriors players, Christian Stanhardinger and Garrett Nevels, pushed the fan away. The fan, who Arnold said was “wasted”, then gestured toward the two Warrior players to come after him.

"I was shocked," UCSB coach Bob Williams told ESPN on Friday. "Then I was mad. I immediately went to the officials and apologized to them. Gib was rather angry. He had to refocus on the game. I was appreciative that our guys tracked him down. Everybody was shocked. Nobody reacted. Kudos goes out to the Hawaii players that stepped out. I thought they handled it really well."

Williams also apologized to Arnold for the incident, and the school's athletic department said it apologized to Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay and Big West Conference commissioner Dennis Farrell.

The fan, according to UCSB spokesman Bill Mahoney, could face discipline including expulsion from the school if he is indeed a student.

This is the third incident where fans and players were involved in some sort of altercation since the beginning of February. The other two occurred at Utah Valley and Texas Tech.

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