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Outburst earns UAA's Osborne one-game suspension

Beth Bragg

UAA men's basketball coach Rusty Osborne will be sidelined by a suspension Saturday night when the Seawolves play Montana State-Billings.

Keith Hackett, the school's new athletic director, issued the one-game suspension Friday, a day after Osborne was ejected from a closely contested game against Seattle Pacific.

The game was tied 70-70 with 2 minutes, 12 seconds remaining when Osborne was ejected. Seattle Pacific, the 19th-ranked team in NCAA Division II, finished with an 18-6 to beat UAA 88-76 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference game.

Osborne received two technical fouls and the automatic ejection that comes with them for his response to an intentional foul called on UAA senior Kyle Fossman. Hackett later issued the one-game suspension.

In a statement issued by the school, Osborne said he let his emotions get away from him.

"In an attempt to motivate our team, I allowed my passion to cross the line of acceptable behavior, which led directly to the team being penalized," he said. "I want to apologize to our players, staff, fans, opponents, and the entire UAA community."

The ejection was the second this season and the suspension is the second in two seasons for Osborne.

In November, he received two technical fouls in the first half of an 88-81 loss to Cal State-Dominguez Hills in a tournament in Anaheim, Calif.

A year ago, the GNAC suspended Osborne for one game for his outburst against officials in an 81-72 road loss to Central Washington.

Osborne is in his 10th season as head coach and 22nd season overall with the Seawolves. Assistant coach Cameron Turner will coach the team on Saturday.

Here is Osborne's full statement:

"On Thursday in an important conference game, I allowed my passion to affect the outcome. Our staff emphasizes the importance of valuing each possession and maintaining our composure during hard times, and I failed to demonstrate these important qualities. In an attempt to motivate our team, I allowed my passion to cross the line of acceptable behavior, which led directly to the team being penalized. I want to apologize to our players, staff, fans, opponents, and the entire UAA community. I have dedicated more than 22 years to help make UAA and Seawolf Athletics better institutions. On my return, I will strive to channel my passion for UAA in a more positive direction at all times."

 


By BETH BRAGG
bbragg@adn.com