West Texas A&M head coach punished by the NCAA

Photo courtesy West Texas A&M Athletics

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West Texas A&M head coach Tom Brown had some choice words following his team’s heartbreaking last-second loss to Black Hills State at home in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional last March. On Wednesday, the NCAA handed down Brown’s punishment.

The NCAA punishment includes a public reprimand and a “fine equal to all days of per diem for participation in the Division II Men’s Basketball Championship South Central regional tournament.”

"The committee was disappointed in the behavior exhibited and strongly believes the championship should not be tarnished by the comments Coach Brown made after the regional championship game," Andy Peterson, incoming chair of the Division II men’s basketball committee and director of athletics at Northwest Missouri State said in the release. "While the committee understands the emotions created during or after competition, frustrations cannot be allowed to lead to behaviors that diminish the integrity, commitment, and hard work that the officials and others put into making the event a success."

After Black Hills State’s Joel Scott hit a free throw with 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation, West Texas A&M’s Damion Thornton saw his last-second attempt fall through the basket just after the clock expired. The win sent Black Hills State to the Elite Eight.

Brown made his feelings about the officiating and the selection of officials for the championship game known during his postgame press conference.

"We had foul trouble, and their post player had one foul," Brown said. "It's really hard to play defense when for some reason, they don't foul, and we do. It was really, really tough. We're not going to flop. We're not going to flop. They just kept backing us down and went right through our chest. We'll probably have to flop next year.

"I know the officials are doing the best they can, but it's just so frustrating sometimes that it's not called on one end, but it's called on the other end. You have two RMAC guys, so you have two guys against you and one Lone Star guy. You can say whatever you want, but that's how it is, and that's not right. As the number one seed, we should've had two guys. I shouldn't have said that, but I did, and I'm going to have to live with it.”

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