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NCAA Basketball

Missouri Coach Frank Haith Pulls Team Following Elbow, Ejection in Netherlands

Off-season, international trips are become a trend among college basketball squads, promoted as a way of improvement, as well as a selling point for many coaches during recruitment.

Last season however, many fans know of the unnecessary events that unfolded in China. During its foreign trip abroad, the Georgetown men’s basketball squad found themselves in a full scale brawl on the court after things got out of hand mid-game.

Maybe it was related to that thought process, but Missouri head coach Frank Haith wanted no part of a similar situation potentially unfolding. Instead Haith pulled his players off the court during a game following his own ejection for arguing a n0-call related to an elbow to the head at Missouri freshman Stefan Jankovic.

“In my mind I was just fearful for the safety of our players, but in retrospect I wish I had let our team play it out and learn from the adversity,” Haith said in an MU press release. “I take complete responsibility. This is a learning experience for us all.”

Despite it all, Haith praised the Netherlands’ national team for their play, saying his decision had nothing to do with their play.

Tigers’ junior Earnest Ross, an eligible transfer from Auburn who is expected to have an immediate impact at Missouri in 2012-13, understood the decision, saying, “We are competitors, we want to play, but when we saw the look in Coach Haith’s eyes we knew he had our backs. We are a family and it feels great knowing your head coach will step out there for you like this.”

Well an interesting storyline to say the least, but fortunately nothing amounted from the elbow, ejection or the Tigers’ choice to leave the game.

Missouri will continue their foreign exhibition tour on Monday night in Belgium.

 

Be sure to follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse