Providence: City of Brotherly Love?

January 20th, 2009


The Story: Providence College guard Jeff Xavier was elbowed in the right eye by Marquette’s Joseph Fulce with 17:15 remaining on a drive to the basket last Saturday (Jan 17) night. The Friar guard remained on the floor clutching that right eye as trainers rushed to his aid.


Geoff McDermott had been fouled on the play after he picked up the loose ball. Xavier made his way over to the bench as his teammate Geoff McDermott made his way to the free throw line.


As McDermott approached the charity stripe, a man sitting in the stands hopped over the Marquette bench, onto the court, and approached referee Todd Williams. Marquette coach Buzz Williams ran onto the court and removed his players from the free throw line and towards their respective bench. “I've never seen anything like that. I just wanted to pull my team off the court and get them away from that,” Coach Williams said.


The man was later identified as Jonathan Xavier, a brother of Jeff Xavier. Jonathan was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Providence Coach Keno Davis said he was also concerned for his team’s safety and is hoping that the security at the Dunk, Providence’s home court, can be vastly improved.


Ryter’s Block: Really? Jonathan Xavier hopped directly over the away team’s bench, onto the court, and walked straight up to the ref. Really? Security seemed to take their time as Jonathan exchanged a few words, although never made contact with the ref, let him know his opinion on the non-foul call. Either that or he asked referee Todd Williams to have a drink with him after the game in downtown Providence. The elbow, which after watching the replay, was inadvertent and the call could have gone either way. Jeff Xavier was clearly upset after getting elbowed and became even more irate after the incident. There is absolutely no need for this. Yell at the refs, call him names, call his mother names if you want to, but stay in the stands.


Jeff Xavier played 23 minutes in Monday night’s game against Cincinnati.


Matthew Ryter keeps you up to date on the world of college basketball with his "Ryter's Block" column.  What do you think about this story? Post your comments below: