Mount St. Mary's Coach Jim Phelan said yesterday the Emmitsburg, Md., school is considering canceling its Feb. 8 basketball game at the University of the District of Columbia in the wake of Saturday's curtailed game in Emmitsburg.
Mount St. Mary's was leading, 71-57, when UDC Coach Wil Jones pulled his team with 7:32 remaining to protest the officiating.
"Our president (Robert Wickenheiser), who was there, wants to take a close look about whether we go down there," said Phelan, who also was concerned that the heat of the game, which ended with some of the UDC players fighting with spectators, might carry over into February's meeting. "We're looking for another explosion."
Wickenheiser could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Phelan said the two were going to meet today and discuss the matter. Then he will send the game film to the commissioner of officials of the Mason-Dixon Conference, of which Mount St. Mary's is a member.
In Saturday's game, UDC was called for six technical fouls, three on Jones. After he was ejected following the third, Jones forfeited the game and told his team to leave the court. A Mount St. Mary's fan apparently said something to UDC player Bryan Tucker when the Firebirds were walking into the locker rooms, and Tucker went after him. The Firebirds' John Gantt also became involved until restrained by Jones.
Jones said he stopped the game because he was concerned that the players might fight.
"I said to Phelan, 'I hate to see this happen betweeen us,' " said Jones. "We've got a good relationship."
Jones said he was given the technicals unfairly. "I've got a problem when I can't say to an official, 'What did my kid get a tech for?' I didn't earn any gosh-darn tech. I just asked him about Lyndon." UDC forward Lyndon DeBellotte was assessed a personal and a technical foul that provoked the coach.
"They (Mount St. Mary's) pushed us and fouled us, and they don't call it . . . That ain't right. Those officials know what they're doing. I'm not sore or bitter about it. I'm bothered about officials that are supposedly that good.
"Everybody was aware we were seven points up (41-34 at halftime), and it probably was looking like a blowout. You know they didn't want that to happen at their place." The Mount already was ahead, 52-47, by the time the controversy-sparking fouls were called.
About the altercation after the game, Phelan said, "It was kind of ugly. Wil kept saying, 'I'm sorry.' He's one of my best friends in coaching, but it shouldn't happen."