UCSB fan arrested after confronting UH coach

UCSB fan arrested after confronting UH coach

HONOLULU and SANTA BARBARA, CA (HawaiiNewsNow)  A UC Santa Barbara fan who went on court and confronted Hawaii coach Gib Arnold during a game has been arrested.

Meanwhile, athletics officials at UH and around the country are talking about how to keep such an incident from happening again.

UCSB athletic department spokesman Bill Mahoney said Friday the man was arrested after the incident in the first half of Thursday night's game.

"To have that happen was just really odd, and it just doesn't belong in UH sports games. It just doesn't," said UH sports fan Amy Rice, who was at the Stan Sheriff Center for Friday night's men's volleyball match with UC-Irvine.

Could such an incident happen here?

"The reality is, is that if a crazy person wants to get on the floor, they're going to find a way to get down there. It's how fast you react to it," said UH Athletics Director Ben Jay.

Jay should know. He was hurt in a fight that broke out in the stands during the Rainbow Wahine Basketball Tournament last November. Since then, Jay said security at the Stan Sheriff has been increased.

"While we have arena security, but we've upgraded now with uniformed officers from campus security at our games now, just to make sure we have someone right on site, on the floor," said Jay.

UH campus security officials said there are two to three uniformed officers at all home games.

If a fan did make it through security at the arena, "First of all you'd be looking at the criminal aspect of it, and whether it be your university police or campus police or local law enforcement," said Jay. "And then you'd also be looking at what the university would be looking at in terms of punishment" if the fan were a UH student.

While Jay said the UCSB incident has schools around the country reviewing their security, he plans no additional changes here.

Gauchos basketball coach Bob Williams apologized to Arnold for the incident. The school's athletic department said it issued apologies to Jay and Big West Conference Commissioner Dennis Farrell for what happened during UCSB's victory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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