The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Taunting Arkansas fan offers his side of confrontration with Aaron Harrison

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

View gallery


Photo by Mark Cornelison of the Lexington Herald-Leader

Not long after Arkansas beat Kentucky on a game-ending put-back dunk Tuesday night, some photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader's Mark Cornelison surfaced on social media and caused a minor stir.

View gallery


Photo by Mark Cornelison of the Lexington Herald-Leader

One photo showed Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison confronting an Arkansas fan who had gotten under his skin as he left the floor. Another showed Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua intervening to prevent the verbal confrontation from escalating into something uglier.

Since the photos appeared in a gallery and the Herald-Leader provided little further context, readers were left to wonder what led to the incident. Harrison did not speak about it after Tuesday's game, but Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones tracked down the Arkansas fan involved and got him to appear on his radio show Wednesday morning.

"He just lost the game with 0.2 seconds left off a put-back dunk. He was angry," Arkansas student Rod Winkler told Jones. "I was just being a fan with the rest of the fans, clapping, cheering the Razorbacks on and it got to him.

"I never did anything toward Aaron. Aaron came to me. He was on his way to the locker room with the other 12 Kentucky players. Julius Randle was actually a step in front of him. He could have kept walking like Julius Randle did and ignored everyone."

Repeatedly pressed by Jones to admit that he'd said something to Harrison that angered the freshman, Winkler insisted that wasn't the case. Said Winkler, "I'm clapping and yelling, 'Yeaahhh" like fans do. He was angry at that point."

It's difficult to believe Winkler didn't do more to taunt Harrison because the freshman almost certainly wouldn't have responded in that way otherwise. Regardless, Harrison should have been mature enough to ignore whatever was said to him and walk straight to the locker room without getting into a shouting match.

Ultimately, however, incidents like these are inevitable when students rush the floor after a big win before the visiting team has exited. One of these days, a confrontation like this will end badly. Thankfully this one didn't result in violence.

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NFL $750K Baller 27243/85227 $10 $750000 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $100K Tournament [$10K to 1st] 1968/4545 $25 $100000 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $1 Single Entry 50/50 [Top 2,500 Win] 1891/5000 $1 $4500 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
View Comments (82)