St. Bonaventure athletic director Tim Kenney made an extra effort Wednesday to butter up to students in the wake of Saturday's loss to Virginia Commonwealth.
Kenney posted an open letter to students in advance of Wednesday's home game against St. Louis in which he says the Bona administration stuck up for them with the Atlantic 10 Conference, which subsequently absolved the students for the technical foul at the end of regulation against VCU. It cost the Bonnies the game.
"Our basketball team needs you!" Kenney wrote. "It's not easy to win Division I basketball games, especially in the A-10. Your enthusiasm gives us an extra edge that can go a long way to deciding games."
While the officials told the coaches afterward the technical was the result of students storming the court, the conference corrected the interpretation on Sunday. It said a security guard who picked up the ball with 0.5 seconds left and an individual fan who ran into one of the officials was the cause of the technical. The officiating crew was disciplined for the confusion created, the conference said.
Kenney's statement: "Saturday night, many media outlets and social media sites reported that the court storming by the student body was the reason a technical foul was issued against St. Bonaventure. Those reports were not correct. Since then, St. Bonaventure's administration has worked diligently to clear your names. Our student body was NOT responsible for the technical foul called on us at the end of regulation. We saw that, we made sure the Atlantic 10 saw it, and on Sunday the A-10 reversed its stance and issued a statement absolving the student body from blame."
Most college programs would kill (figuratively) to have the kind of rabidness the Bona students show at the Reilly Center. It's one of the key (and few) advantages Bona has over almost every other Atlantic 10 program (not counting Dayton). So it's understandable Kenney would bend over backward to cater to his student body.
"Finally," Kenney wrote, "while we need you to be in the RC cheering, please remain off the playing floor at all times. I say this for one reason – storming the court is dangerous for everyone, starting with you and your fellow students. It also poses a risk to both teams, our staff, and the media covering the game. I cringe at the thought of anyone being hurt during a court storm."