"It's just one of those unfortunate plays that happens," said Bill McCabe, the conference's coordinator of men's basketball officiating on Monday afternoon after reviewing the play on tape. […]
McCabe said that in his review of the play it appeared Aboya jumped to the right as Morris threw the ball.
"If you look at the play very clearly, he jumps in the air pretty high the first time, then he comes down, and now the ball starts to release and then Aboya jumps to the right and takes the ball in the face," McCabe said. "If he had jumped straight up again, the ball would probably have gone right by him. Instead, he jumps to the right and the ball hits him in the face."
One has to wonder whether McCabe ever played this game. Because if he did he’d realize in situation one just doesn’t "unfortunately" aim at a 6-7 body and strike him right in the face. It wouldn’t have been all that difficult for Morris to aim at AA2’s thighs or butt.
This is one of those situations in which if people like McCabe do not take a hard stance it will invite more dangerous scenarios down the line. When it appears from the tape that a player was aiming at another player’s head it should be an automatic technical regardless of the intent.
For his part Romar is being weak offering up pathetic defense of his player’s thuggish move (from the same link above):
"I would have jerked [Morris] out of the game immediately," legendary former UCLA coach John Wooden said Monday. "And after the game he'd have heard about it.
"You do have to keep in mind that these are kids and they are going to get over-excited at times and are still not completely mature. But that is no excuse for what happened."
Going back to the Coach's comments, in my 20 years of following UCLA basketball, I don’t think I have seen Coach Wooden call out someone so directly. I think that gives you an indication how despicable and disgusting that play really was.
As we have said before if Romar has any shred of class and dignity, instead of making weak and pathetic excuses he offer an apology to UCLA basketball program today.