Vanderbilt basketball coach Kevin Stallings issued a public apology through his team’s official twitter account late Thursday night for a profane comment he made toward Vanderbilt freshman guard Wade Baldwin in the aftermath of the Commodores’ 73-65 win over Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena.
“After the game, an incident occurred in which I need to apologize for,” Stallings said. “One of our players acted inappropriately and violated what we believe is good sportsmanship following the game.”
“In my haste to resolve the situation, I made a very inappropriate comment. While obviously it was not meant literally, it was still inappropriate. I apologized to the player immediately following the game. Displaying good sportsmanship is of the highest priority in our program, win or lose. I am very remorseful of my actions tonight.”
Baldwin, who scored 13 points in the Vanderbilt victory, initiated his coach’s wrath when he clapped in the face of UT junior forward Armani Moore after the final buzzer.
Stallings criticized Baldwin after the game, but his apology stems from what said when he lashed out at Baldwin during the postgame handshake line before the ESPN2 cameras pulled away.
“We don’t do that! I will (expletive) kill you!,” Stallings shouts to Baldwin after he learns of the Baldwin’s postgame antics.
Vandy coach Kevin Stallings losing his mind on player https://t.co/AlXcTj3TDN
— Diehard Sport (@Diehardsport) February 27, 2015
Stallings said this in an interview with ESPN:
“I handled it completely inappropriately and I apologized to Wade — and I need to apologize to our fans and the Vanderbilt administration,” the longtime coach told ESPN. “Having said that, and it may seem as though I’m trying to rationalize my behavior, sportsmanship will continue to be a high priority. I did not mean it in the literal sense and I’ve never touched a player in all my years as a coach. That’s not me. I will learn from this and handle this situation differently in the future.”
Baldwin posted this message to his Twitter account late Thursday night.
Coach Stallings is the best coach in America. I felt no offense to anything. We are both fiery people and that's why I chose Vandy ⚓️