Georgetown Coach John Thompson rarely is openly happy after a regular-season victory, but he obviously was disturbed Wednesday night after his team's 70-66 Big East basketball victory over Connecticut at Capital Centre.
It wasn't the game itself that was unsettling for Thompson, but a second-half bench-clearing brawl that prompted officials to eject Georgetown's Ralph Dalton and Connecticut's Gerry Besselink.
Tom McElroy, the Big East's assistant commissioner, said yesterday that the league did not plan to take disciplinary action against Dalton, Besselink or Reggie Williams, who was involved with Besselink in the first altercation.
"The initial reaction here," McElroy said, "is that the officials acted quickly and did the right thing."
Thompson sounded a little more disturbed. He declined to discuss specifically what he said to his players after the fight, but he did say, "We'll have to deal with it." Sources said the Hoyas got an earful from Thompson Wednesday night and yesterday.
Wednesday night's incident wasn't the first this season, even though it was the first time when fists were flying. Georgetown has been involved in scuffling with Puerto Rico (in an exhibition), at De Paul, Texas-El Paso and Pittsburgh. And the perception, which began four years ago during Patrick Ewing's freshman year, persists that Georgetown is a rough, overly aggressive team.
"So much attention has been given to us being aggressive and so much attention has been given to how we are supposed to play," Thompson said. "We play full-court and we play aggressive defense . . . and everybody will be ready, at the drop of a hat, to be irritable.
"We aren't going to be pushed off the court, either. It's becoming too much of a thing. I'm getting fed up. Who's to blame is a whole different issue.
"I'm not interested in who to blame as much as I'm interested in it stopping."