University of Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke issued a statement Wednesday commenting on a video that emerged on social media involving Arizona men's basketball star Bennedict Mathurin and a TCU cheerleader after the Wildcats' win over TCU on Sunday.
"Shortly after returning to Tucson, I was notified that people on social media were claiming a video clip showed Bennedict Mathurin may have made physical contact with a TCU student while walking off the court," Heeke said in the statement. "I have reached out to TCU’s Athletics Department and I spoke with Bennedict. While he does not recall any contact, he has attempted to reach out to the TCU student through their Athletic Department to apologize."
The video shows Mathurin stopping and looking up toward the stands after Arizona's 85-80 win in overtime.
After bowing, he rises up with his arms spread fully apart. As he turns toward the tunnel, he appears to be looking the opposite way with his arms still outstretched when his left hand goes near the woman's chest, though it is unclear if there is any contact.
The cheerleader remained still and had no visible reaction in the short clip.
Ummmm…did the Arizona go later just give the TCU cheerleader a tap? pic.twitter.com/VbVRLoqp2V
— Kyle G. Adema (@KyleGAdema) March 21, 2022
Another angle of the video from the stands recently surfaced online that doesn't appear to show contact between Mathurin and the woman.
The cheerleader is part of the TCU Showgirls, a cheer and dance group that performs at TCU football, basketball and baseball games, as well as other events.
Mathurin said Wednesday that he had attempted to reach out to the woman by email through TCU's athletic department.
Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin addresses the video of him allegedly touching a TCU cheerleader while walking off the court in San Diego. pic.twitter.com/t28Wb06ZbA
— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) March 23, 2022
TCU athletic department officials didn't immediately respond Wednesday when asked by The Associated Press about the Arizona player and AD statements.
Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said Wednesday that he didn’t learn of the situation until the team returned home from San Diego but declined to comment further.
“We were as surprised as anybody. I’m just going to refer to that statement from Dave about the situation,” Lloyd said at Wednesday's Arizona media availability in San Antonio.
March Madness 2022: Men's NCAA Tournament schedule and results on the road to the national title
Mathurin and the Wildcats are scheduled to take on Houston in San Antonio in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Bennedict Mathurin reaches out to TCU cheerleader after incident