The Seahawk

ECU player, UNCW student in post-game spitting incident


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Immediately following UNCW’s home game against rival ECU Saturday night, Fred Primus, ECU junior guard, allegedly spit in the face of two Seahawk Heckler members. According to Captain David Donaldson of the UNCW police, reports indicate that when students approached and began to wrap a banner around Primus, he allegedly spit at two students, and cocked his arm back as if to throw a punch. The names of the students involved could not be revealed, because they have been referred to the Dean of Students office. Charges have not been filed with UNCW police.According to Daniel James Urban, a junior at UNCW, some members of the hecklers stood in the lobby outside of the gym after the game, and waited for the opposing team to enter the locker room. According to Urban, fellow member Dave MacDonald, a sophomore at UNCW, stated to Primus that the Hecklers “had something for him,” and attempted to give him a banner that read “Fred Primus: the nation’s leader in steals.”MacDonald had no comment when asked about the incident.Urban said that Primus lurched at him and MacDonald before being restrained. Primus then looked back and spit in the face of Urban. Urban filed a report with UNCW police immediately after the alleged incident. Urban and his student-run group, the “Seahawk Hecklers” began with about 5 members before the basketball team went to the NCAA tournament in Spring of 2000 and the popularity spread by word-of-mouth to about 20 members currently. “Our job is to throw the opposing members off of their game,” said Urban.Normally, usual heckling is involved, but for the ECU game more was planned. Based on research done by a few Hecklers’ members and confirmation from ECU students, the group found that Fred Primus was once convicted of stealing property. The Hecklers then entered the game with two banners. One read “Fred Primus is a thief,” while another read, “Fred Primus: the nation’s leader in steals.” Rob Brickles, director of athletic marketing, confiscated the first banner before the game. The second was allowed to be displayed. During the game, the Hecklers chanted phrases significant to Primus’tainted past. Chants such as “Jailbird” were frequently used when Primus hadthe ball or was given foul shots. “Compared to our other games, this was probably the meanest thing we [theHecklers] have ever done. It wasn’t necessarily proper, but we did our job.We pissed him off enough to be off [of] his game,” Urban said. When asked about the Seahawk basketball team’s feelings of the Hecklers’Efforts, Urban said, “The team is able to feed off it. They even mentioned thatthe crowd was crazy that night. We always help by cheering, and the rest ofthe crowd does help, but we are a big part of that.” “I think coach Wainwright feels like we help out the team,” Urban said. “He probably wishes we didn’t do some of the stuff we do, though.”Brickles’ opinion on the effect the Seahawk Hecklers have on the game differed from that of Urban.”The UNCW crowd in general gives the Seahawks energy,” Brickles said. “Saying that solely the Hecklers do that is saying a lot. They certainly are the most vocal crowd in the group. Nobody in the conference has the fans that we have.” When asked about the appropriateness some of the outbursts by fans, Bricklesstated, “We can’t control what fans say or do. We hope that they would bepolite. There are boundaries, and we hope that sportsmanship will be observedat each game.” Brickles said, “Other schools give the ‘bullshit’ chant all the time, and they holler at opposing players frequently. Players learn to just roll with the punches. Theyare professionals out there, and their job is to focus on the game. I am sure that Primus let it roll off his back as well.” “From what I understand, two people with a banner attempted to drape itover Primus,” Brickles said. “Because actual contact was made, even if he did spit, bothparties turn out to be wrong.” Neither Primus nor the UNCW Dean of Students office could be reached for comment.

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ECU player, UNCW student in post-game spitting incident