Indiana University basketball coach Tom Crean has apologized for an ugly post-game confrontation he initiated with Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer following the two team’s match up on Sunday.
Just moments after the final buzzer sounded for the game, Crean and Meyer reportedly got into each other’s faces in the handshake line while exchanging angry words.
The two eventually parted ways, but Crean wasn’t finished. He allegedly tracked down Meyer at midcourt, shook his finger at the Michigan assistant and shouted, “You know what you did! You helped wreck our program!”
Meyer was an assistant coach at Indiana under previous head coach Kelvin Sampson, who violated NCAA rules regarding phone contact with recruits, bringing about a dark period for the IU program.
As a result, Crean, who was hired by Indiana in 2008, struggled in his first three seasons, losing at least 20 games each year.
Crean later addressed the incident (which he called a “professional misunderstanding”) to reporters, saying that he apologized to Meyer before getting on his flight home.
“On the way to the plane actually, talked to him on the telephone. We discussed a couple of things. I apologized for that, and, in retrospect, I wish I never would have addressed anything after the heat of battle in a game,” Crean said Monday on the Big Ten weekly teleconference. “But we move on, and that’s what I’ve done in that situation. End of story. Now our focus is completely on helping our team improve this week to get ready for Friday.”
Though Meyer has yet to speak on the confrontation, Michigan coach John Beilein praised his assistant for handling the situation with “great poise.”
“I will say Michigan is always going to win with class and lose with class. We’re never going to use victory or defeat as a platform for any frustration. I’m really proud of the way Jeff showed great poise and handled himself in the aftermath of the disappointment of that loss. He’s a great coach. He’s helped us rebuild this program brick-by-brick side-by-side with me. I’m glad he’s on our sideline.”
Here is a video of Tom Crean’s heated post-game confrontation with Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer: