Presbyterian fan defends his actions
Posted December 14, 2009
A Presbyterian College fan who was ejected from Saturday's game at North Carolina said he was not intoxicated and was sitting in the UNC section because his friends had invited him to sit there.
Brian King, of Concord, was ejected after Carolina coach Roy Williams pointed to him. Security officers escorted him out of his seat. The moment was captured on camera by WRAL.
King, a 1996 Presbyterian graduate, said Monday that he didn't blame Williams for being upset, but that he was concerned about how he was portrayed after the game.
"I was not a drunken idiot who happened to be where he wasn't supposed to be," King said.
Steve Kirshner, associate athletics director at UNC, said Sunday that security personnel found the man intoxicated and sitting in the wrong seat. Kirschner, reached again Monday, said, "Our security people said he was non-responsive to their requests and they thought he was intoxicated."
King was sitting in a section in the lower level, not far behind the UNC bench.
Kirschner said the fan was removed because of how he responded when arena personnel arrived. Kirschner said a uniformed policeman went to see him first and then the security officers appeared. The security officers determined he had been drinking, Kirschner said.
"It had zero to do with what he said and zero to do with Roy Williams," Kirschner said.
King said he bought two tickets from StubHub for the game. He said he moved in the second half to sit with buddies from elementary school who had seats in the lower level behind the UNC bench. King said he was invited to sit there and that his friends had extra tickets available. He said he could have shown the security officers the tickets if they had asked.
King said the Smith Center was quiet in the second half, except for him rooting for his team. He said he had some beers before the game but didn't do or say anything inappropriate. When UNC's Deon Thompson was at the foul line, King said he yelled, "Miss it, Deon!"
"I didn't say anything but, 'Miss it, Deon!' That is the truth," King said.
King said he is a huge basketball fan who "grew up going to the Duke games. I love Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"I really love basketball. That's all I was, an enthusiastic fan."
King said he was surprised when Williams turned to him.
"He told me to shut up. I said, 'Who, me?'" King said.
"And he said, 'Yeah, I'm talking to you.'
"And I said, 'Go Blue Hose!' and pointed to my shirt."
Williams motioned to someone at the Smith Center and security guards emerged to escort King out.
King said he was "really embarrassed" about what happened but didn't want his comments to come across as anger towards Williams.
"I'm cool with what happened," he said, noting that his father coached football and he understands how passionate fans can be.
Instead, he wanted to address how he was portrayed in the aftermath.
"I was not intoxicated at all," he said.