A shocking event passed unnoticed in college basketball post-game handshakes last Thursday, during the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The University of Memphis and the Bowling Green State Universities faced each other. Bowling Green’s Falcons won 73-60. During the traditional handshake line, Elissa Brett, from Bowling Green, was struck by Jamirah Shutes, from Memphis.
Video footage of the incident went viral, revealing Shutes reaching out towards Brett, who fell to the ground instantly. Shutes was quickly taken away by her teammates. The confrontation took place on Bowling Green’s home court in Ohio. Falcons head coach Robyn Fralick was questioned about Brett’s condition and communication exchange between the two players. Nevertheless, Fralick couldn’t ascertain any details, stating “We’re still kind of figuring all those things out, what happened.”
Bowling Green’s Athletic Department issued a statement the day after the episode, stating that it was reviewing the incident and that a member of the Memphis Women’s Basketball team was charged with assault. The Bowling Green State University Police Department is currently investigating the case further. So far, nothing suggests that Brett suffered any severe injuries.
It is worth noting that violence is never welcome, and everyone involved in college basketball must understand that conflicts don’t belong on the court. Physical violence, in particular, must not be taken lightly. Both university teams involved have serious academic prestige and must act accordingly.
As of now, Memphis and Shutes have not issued any statements about the incident. It is still unknown if Shutes has retained legal representation. However, due to the kind of episode that occurred, it is more than probable that Shutes will face penalties for her actions. It remains to be seen what kind of repercussions this case will have for both the Universities and their athletic departments.