After claims by Mizzou's AD of Gamecocks fans spitting on player - FOX Carolina 21

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After claims by Mizzou's AD of Gamecocks fans spitting on players, Ray Tanner issues denial

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(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Gamecocks Athletic Director Ray Tanner issued a statement Tuesday after claims made by Missouri's basketball coach and athletic director on the treatment of their players after a tense game Sunday. 

The rumors include Missouri head women's basketball coach Robin Pingeton hinted that Gamecocks fans spat on her players following a game where a skirmish took place between the USC and Missouri basketball teams during Sunday's game.

Even Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk spoke out on the claims made my Mizzou players on a sports radio show on Tuesday. 

Tanner's statement says they've looked into the claims and have found nothing to corroborate those claims. The statement says: 

The commitment to a secure environment for everyone at our home games, including fans, student-athletes, coaches and staff from the home and visiting teams is of the utmost importance. In anticipation of this rivalry game, the athletics department provided security for the Missouri basketball team, above its standard operating procedure.

Upon hearing the accusations regarding our crowd’s behavior towards the Missouri team, the athletics department conducted a review of our operations from the game, including interviews with staff and security personnel.

In this review, we received no confirmation of the alleged behavior directed at the visiting team by fans at the game.

During media availability ahead of Wednesday's game vs. UCONN, Staley said "the accusations are serious and false" and the won't make any further comment except that the accusations will be taken care of. 

The two players fell to the floor trying to take the ball from each other, but emotions took over as the pair traded shoves. Fellow Mizzou and Gamecocks players rushed to break the two apart as coaches from both teams ran onto the court as well to defend their players. 

Two Mizzou players, Jordan Roundtree and Nadia Green, were ejected as a result of the scrum. 

"Players are on edge. They watched the film from last game," Coach Dawn Staley said after the game. "They don't want to go into a game unprotected. So, our first thing going is in making sure everyone is okay. Out there on the floor. Both teams. Intensity was high, and I just saw players trying to protect themselves on both sides of the ball."

MORE: Staley: "I thought officiating did a great job" sorting out scuffle with Mizzou

Gamecocks head men's basketball coach Frank Martin also chimed in Wednesday morning to defend Staley and the women.

The Gamecocks - avenging a Jan. 8 road loss in Columbia, MO - won 64-54. 

Coach Staley stopped by the WIS studios on Monday to talk about the scuffle and their upcoming game vs. UCONN. 

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved. 

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